Saturday, April 12, 2008

UPCOMING GUESTS on our show: Bill Press & Senators Tom Daschle, Arlen Specter and Lincoln Chaffee

WHO ELSE LIED US INTO INVADING IRAQ? Behind Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand

In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guantánamo Bay. The detention center had just been branded “the gulag of our times” by Amnesty International, there were new allegations of abuse from United Nations human rights experts and calls were mounting for its closure.

The administration’s communications experts responded swiftly. Early one Friday morning, they put a group of retired military officers on one of the jets normally used by Vice President Dick Cheney and flew them to Cuba for a carefully orchestrated tour of Guantánamo.

To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.

Trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. - John Adams

Don't miss the HBO miniseries JOHN ADAMS, produced by Tom Hanks Playtone Prods. This is a riveting production that vividly depicts the struggle in giving birth to our nation. Abigal Adams is one of my favorite revolutionary heroes.
More on the ABC Obama- Clinton debate debacle below... Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopolous spent 50 minutes on embarrassingly petty attacks and blatant character assassination — mostly aimed at Obama. It makes you wonder which side the mainstream media is on.
Progressive Valerie Bertinell's book remains firmly on the New York Times Bestseller list...

If you missed it last Monday, check the archives for our interview with Valerie Bertinelli on the award-winning Basham and Cornell Radio Show heard weekday mornings at 8 a.m. on 1230 AM KLAV in Las Vegas, and simulcast worldwide on the web.

Valerie Bertinelli. Then: bubbly sitcom star and America's Sweetheart turned tabloid headline and rock star wife. Now: actress, single working mother of teenage rock star, and weight-loss inspiration to millions.

UPCOMING GUESTS: Bill Press, Senators Tom Daschle, Lincoln Chaffee and Arlen Specter. If you live in Vegas you can tune in Live or go to our website and listen in the audio archives.

The Basham and Cornell Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern) on KLAV 1230 AM Radio live in Las Vegas. Again, all shows are simulcast worldwide on the Internet (and archived) and can be listened to at Basham and Cornell Radio If you've missed our show, check out the audio archives. We have interviewed John & Elizabeth Edwards, Dennis & Elizabeth Kucinich, John Dean, Pat Buchanan, NBC Bureau Chief in Tel Aviv Martin Fletcher, Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie Savage, Congressman Charlie Rangel,Valerie Plame, Christine Pelosi, Dahr Jamail, Senator Mike Gravel; Senator Byron Dorgan; bestselling authors Greg Palast, Paul Krugman, Greg Anrig.
Let's get Obama and Clinton together! An unbeatable ticket...

Debate moderators abuse the public trust every time they ask trivial questions about gaffes and 'gotchas' that only political insiders care about. Enough with the distractions—ABC and other networks must focus on issues that affect people's daily lives."

Did you watch ABC's prime-time character assassination of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton last night?

The day after this disastrous "debate," Americans are shaking their heads in disbelief at what they witnessed, sarcastically speculating whether ABC News decided to launch an early roll-out of the Republican "swift boat" campaign. Editor & Publisher called it "perhaps the most embarrassing performance by the media in a major presidential debate in years."

"Moderators George Stephanopolous and Charlie Gibson spent the first 50 minutes obsessed with distractions that only political insiders care about--gaffes, polling numbers, the stale Rev. Wright story, and the old-news Bosnia story. And, channeling Karl Rove, directed a video question to Barack Obama asking if he loves the American flag or not. Seriously."

It's worse than that -- the video question specifically asked Obama about his thoughtful reluctance to wear an American flag-pin lapel. Apparently, wearing a flag pin is a legitimate symbolic proxy for whether or not a person is patriotic enough to be President. Questions about global warming, the economy, and the war? Mere trivialities in ABC's bizarro world.

Sad News: I received this letter from my friend Alison on Saturday:

"I am writing to you to let you know that my brother, Mark Metherell (also
the brother-in-law of Henry and Tori Cloud if you know them) was killed yesterday by a roadside bomb in Iraq while on a mission.

He leaves behind his loving wife, Sara Metherell, and their 1 year old adopted daughter, Cora. Please keep them in your prayers. They were the love of his life. He was kind and compassionate as evidenced by his many good friends.

Mark was an ex-Navy SEAL. I couldn't have asked for a better brother. He was the only son of my
parents, Pam and Alex Metherell. Please keep them in your prayers as well.

Mark Metherell is a true American hero, who died in service to this great country. God Bless him and his family.

More on Valerie Bertinelli:
We all knew and loved Valerie Bertinelli years ago when she played girl-next-door cutie Barbara Cooper in the hit TV show One Day at a Time, and then starred in numerous TV movies. From wholesome primetime in America's living rooms, Valerie moved to late nights with the hardest-partying band of the decadent eighties when she became, at twenty, wife to rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen. Losing It is Valerie's frank account of her life backstage and in the spotlight. Here are the ups and downs of teen stardom, of her complicated marriage to a brilliant, tormented musical genius, and of her very public struggle with her weight.

Surprising, uplifting, and empowering, Losing It takes you behind the scenes of Valerie's acting career and marriage, recalling the comforts, friendships, and problems of her television family, her close relationships with her parents and brothers, the stress and worries of being the wife of a rock star, and the joys of motherhood. Like many women, Valerie often remembers the state of her life by the food she ate and the numbers on her scale. So despite her celebrity, Valerie's voice is down-to-earth, honest, and appealing. Funny and candid, Valerie recounts her attempts to maintain a healthy self-image while dealing with social pressures to look and act a certain way, and to overcome career insecurities and relationship problems, all of which will be familiar to the hundreds of thousands of women who struggle every day with these same issues.

From marital turmoil to the joys of a new career, from being named among Penthouse's ten sexiest women in the world to overhearing whispers about her weight gain in the grocery store, this is Valerie's inspiring journey as she finds new love, raises a terrific kid, and motivates other women as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig.

The Basham and Cornell Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern). All shows are simulcast on the Internet (and archived) and can be listened to at Basham and Cornell Radio


  1. Lydia Cornell and Valerie Bertinelli on the same radio program? All we need is Erin Moran and Jill Whelan and my childhood dream team would be complete

  2. Hmm, have you seen Erin Moran recently?

  3. I'm not being mean here. She was on some reality thing where she was just a mess.

    She's not little "shortcake" anymore.



  4. Valerie Bertinelli on the other hand is looking pretty sweet.

  5. It's Obama, stupid: Carter and Gore to end Clinton bid

    DEMOCRAT grandees Jimmy Carter and Al Gore are being lined-up to deliver the coup de grâce to Hillary Clinton and end her campaign to become president.
    Falling poll numbers and a string of high-profile blunders have convinced party elders that she must now bow out of the primary race.

    Former president Carter and former vice-president Gore have already held high-level discussions about delivering the message that she must stand down for the good of the Democrats.

    "They're in discussions," a source close to Carter told Scotland on Sunday. "Carter has been talking to Gore. They will act, possibly together, or in sequence."

    An appeal by both men for Democrats to unite behind Clinton's rival, Barack Obama, would have a powerful effect, and insiders say it is a question of when, rather than if, they act.

    Obama has an almost unassailable lead in the battle for nomination delegates, and is closing the gap with Clinton in her last stronghold, Pennsylvania, which votes on April 22.

    Clinton remains publicly defiant, insisting she will continue the battle with Obama all the way to the Democratic convention in August – when superdelegates, or party top brass, will have the chance to add their weight to primary votes.

    But the party's top brass have concluded her further participation in the race can only harm the party as Republican nominee John McCain strives to take advantage of her increasingly bitter battle with Obama.

    Both Carter and Gore occupy the rarefied position of elder statesmen – in addition to their White House past, both are winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, giving them additional gravitas to carry the party with them.

    Neither of them is likely to object to the role of bringing down the curtain on Clinton. While neither man has formally endorsed either her or Obama, both have clashed in the past with the Clintons.

    Gore blames his loss to George Bush in the 2000 presidential election on the impeachment of Clinton triggered by his White House affair with Monica Lewinsky.

    Carter, who has carved out a successful career as an international mediator, is believed to detest the flashy style of the Clintons. He recently told an interviewer that his entire family are committed Obama supporters.

    A number of options are being considered by the higher echelons of the Democrats, but they fall roughly into two categories. One is for Carter and Gore to go to Clinton privately and ask her to step down. The other is for both men to appear in public and endorse Obama – a move which would see a majority of superdelegates go with them.

    The campaign to force Clinton to make an early exit is being masterminded in Congress, home to the most influential of the superdelegates. Senate Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have called on superdelegates to hold an unofficial congress in early June to anoint a winner, rather than waiting for the convention in Denver.

    Pelosi has drawn withering fire from the Clinton camp for saying that these superdelegates must follow the national vote, with Clinton insisting that they should "vote with their conscience".

    All I can add is it is about time.

    The Clintons would rather destroy the party then let somebody else beat them, and she isn't the future of the democratic party.

  6. Voltron said ... "May take a while. Last I heard Carter was off to have tea with his good buddies in Hamas..."

    It's called Diplomacy. You know, that thing that leaders are supposed to use?

  7. Heard about that reality show but haven't seen it. However, I did catch the little reuinion on the Today Show a few weeks back and Erin looked pretty good there

  8. My friend's brother was killed in Iraq yesterday, by a roadside bomb.

    Please keep his family in your prayers. His picture is posted on the front of blog.

    Please caucus today for your delegate if you live in Southern California.

  9. I am sorry to hear about Mark Metherell. My thoughts are with his family. I am pretty nervous for my own son because of those damn things.
    Valerie while the layman may think has had a privileged life she made it hard and I am glad to see she is doing well!

  10. That was so sad about Mark Metherell, awful...please let us know if there is anything we can do, or an account set up for his so sad....


  11. Pope won't break bread with Bush

    The White House has scheduled a dinner next week in honor of Pope Benedict XVI's first visit to the United States, but one guest will be conspicuously absent from the proceedings: the pope himself.

    There are no competing events listed on the pope's schedule, and the White House was unable to explain Benedict's absence from the dinner.

    Man you have to be some sort of world class a$$hole if the Pope don't wanna break da bread with ya,

    either that or a world class war criminal.

  12. This pope has known of a few world class war criminals in his time.

  13. AP and Enigma -- thank you for your kind words. I gave a tribute to Mark on today's show before we ran the Valerie interview.

    America is gaining its senses. The Dalai Lama filled 50,000 seats in Seattle for the Compassion Conference -- and The Green Event was filled to capacity.

    We are taking it outside, gathering our forces for peace.

  14. Lydia
    I think America is starting to get it. I see in PA. the people are saying they are peeved and are not backing away from Obama. Nor are the newspapers or the Super Delegate both of which he has picked up since the latest disinformation campaign.
    Anyway speaking of the compassion conference. Last night between Obama and Hillary, I am not sure how it went or what they called it exactly but I was happy to see that McCain turned down his invitation to it.

  15. Lydia:
    thanks for mentioning the Dalai's trip to Seattle- the Seeds of Compassion Conference at Seattle....good news , I am so glad that it sold out and filled- warms my heart- and I know that now more than ever he NEEDS our support...

    I will listen to your show tonight...( I listen to them from the archives ;-)

    Valerie's Book is excellent by the way ( I am reading that and "Escaped" by Carolyn Jessop at the same time- they are both excellent books about Women Finding themselves- their idenities......)

  16. The Coming War with Iran:

    It's About the Oil, Stupid

    World civilization is based on oil. The world is running out of oil. The oil companies and governments are not telling the truth about how close we are to the end. Dick Cheney knew about peak oil back in 1999 when he spoke to the London Petroleum Institute as Halliburton CEO. He predicted it would come in 2010. After that it's just a matter of years before it runs out. Whoever controls the remaining oil determines who lives and who dies.

    Sixty percent of this oil is under a triangular area of the Middle East the size of Kansas. In that speech Cheney said: "The Middle East with two thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies."

    This small Middle East triangle encompasses the northeast of Saudi Arabia, all of Iraq and the southwestern part of Iran, along with Kuwait, Qatar and the Emirates. The US controls Iraq. It has friendly governments in the other states.

    Iran is the exception. The US now surrounds Iran.

    Controlling an area the size of Kansas shouldn't be a problem for the U.S. military, except that it is heavily populated and many people in the triangle don't want the Americans there and are willing to fight.

    It's been known for at least thirty years that America needs alternative energy sources. But instead of an alternative energy plan we got the invasion of Iraq by oilmen wedded to a dying business, willing to kill hundreds of thousands to cling to the last drop. The US is never leaving the region or withdrawing from Iraq. McCain is right about staying, but 100 years is too long. The oil won't last that long.

    Iran is next. Lieberman set up Petraeus to testify last week that Iranian-backed groups are murdering hundreds of American servicemen in Iraq. On Friday Gates called Iran's influence in Iraq "malign" and Bush said if Iran keeps meddling in Iraq "then we'll deal with them." They are building their case for war with resolutions in the Senate and at the UN. It's only western Iran, from the Iraq border to 150 miles inside the country that the U.S. will have to occupy. That's where Iran's oil is. But the U.S. will have a nasty battle on their hands in Iran even if they restore a Shah-like puppet in Tehran 30 years after the revolution.

    The Saudis would not mind seeing the Iranian regime go. But the Saudis may also be on the list. The US may have to destabilize and control Saudi Arabia some day too. The Wall Street Journal a few years ago revealed that in the 1970s under Nixon, Kissinger had plans drawn up for the US invasion and occupation of the Saudi oil fields. Those plans can be dusted off.

    The American oil wars are being launched out of weakness, not strength. The American economy is teetering and without control of the remaining oil it will collapse. There will be massive chaos in any case, when only enough oil remains for the American elite and whomever they choose to share it with.

    That will leave an oil-starved China and India, both with nuclear weapons, with no alternative but to bow to America or go to war.

    It's not about greed any more. It's about survival. Because the leadership of this country was initially too greedy to switch from oil to solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable alternatives, it may now be too late. Had the hundreds of billions of dollars poured into the invasion and occupation of Iraq been put into alternative energy the world might have had a fighting chance. Now that is far from certain.

    What is certain is that these wars are not about democracy. They are not about WMD. The coming one will not even be about Iran's nuclear weapons project. It's about the oil, stupid.

  17. Financial Collapse will End the Occupation:

    By Mike Whitney [with comments]

    “Come and see our overflowing morgues and find our little ones for us...
    You may find them in this corner or the other, a little hand poking out, pointing out at you...
    Come and search for them in the rubble of your "surgical" air raids, you may find a little leg or a little head...pleading for your attention.
    Come and see them amassed in the garbage dumps, scavenging morsels of food...
    Come and see, come..."
    "Flying Kites” Layla Anwar

    And it won't be "A time of our choosing"

    The US Military has won every battle it has fought in Iraq, but it has lost the war. Wars are won politically, not militarily. [Just like Vietnam] Bush doesn't understand this. He still clings to the belief that a political settlement can be imposed through force. But he is mistaken.[Considering he used poppy's connections to avoid service in Vietnam, and spent most of that time drunk or coked up that is easy to understand.] The use of overwhelming force has only spread the violence and added to the political instability. Now Iraq is ungovernable. Was that the objective? [From Cheney's point of view, probably] Miles of concrete blast-walls snake through Baghdad to separate the warring parties;[Just like in Israel, where the Israeli government tries to use large concrete walls to control the Palestinians] the country is fragmented into a hundred smaller pieces each ruled by local militia commanders. [Hmmm Afghanistan after the failure of the soviet occupation?] These are the signs of failure not success. That's why the American people no longer support the occupation. They're just being practical; they know Bush's plan won't work. As Nir Rosen says, “Iraq has become Somalia”. [Or Vietnam circa 1972, or Afghanistan circa 1989, or Yugoslavian circa 1991]

    The administration still supports Iraqi President Nouri al Maliki, [What choice does Bush ET Al have, he can't overthrow his hand picked puppet can they? Oh right the US did that in Vietnam in 1963] but al-Maliki is a meaningless figurehead who will have no effect on the country's future. He has no popular base of support and controls nothing beyond the walls of the Green Zone. The al-Maliki government is merely an Arab facade designed to convince the American people that political progress is being made, but there is no progress. Its a sham. The future is in the hands of the men with guns; they're the ones who have divided Iraq into locally-controlled fiefdoms and they are the one's who will ultimately decide who will rule the state. At present, the fighting between the factions is being described as “sectarian warfare”, but the term is intentionally misleading. The fighting is political in nature; the various militias are competing with each other to see who will fill the vacuum left by the removal of Saddam. It's a power struggle. The [right wing corporate controlled] media likes to portray the conflict as a clash between half-crazed Arabs--"dead-enders and terrorists"---who relish the idea killing their countrymen, but that's just a way of demonizing the enemy. [How Rovian of them.] In truth, the violence is entirely rational; it is the inevitable reaction to the dissolution of the state and the occupation by foreign troops. Many military experts predicted that there would be outbreaks of fighting after the initial invasion, but their warnings were shrugged off by clueless politicians and the cheerleading media.[ like Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, who attacked Gen Shinseki for telling congress we need many more troops to stabilize Iraq after invading it. Like Cheney who claimed we would be greated as liberators NOT invaders or occupiers, but what the hell does he know he got 5 deferments from Vietnam, thought he did shoot an innocent man in the face years later. Like "Bloody" Bill Kristol who couldn't find a big enough lie about Iraq even after 5 years of failure or Judy Miller of the NYT who whored her profession in service of the war mongers in Bush's Administration] Now the violence has flared up again in Basra and Baghdad, and there is no end in sight. Only one thing seems certain, Iraq's future will not be decided at the ballot box. Bush has made sure of that.

    The US military does not rule Iraq nor does it have the power to control events on the ground.
    [Even with all the surge talk] It's just one of many militias vieing for power in a state that is ruled by warlords. After the army conducts combat operations, it is forced to retreat to its camps and bases. [Just like in Vietnam, take a hill then return to base, and go take the very same hill next week. Only this time it is a street corner, or section of a town.] This point needs to be emphasized in order to understand that there is no real future for the occupation. The US simply does not have the manpower to hold territory or to establish security. In fact, the presence of American troops incites violence because they are seen as forces of occupation, not liberators. Survey's show that the vast majority of the Iraqi people want US troops to leave.[ like around 90%] The military has destroyed too much of the country and slaughtered too many people to expect that these attitudes will change anytime soon. Iraqi poet and blogger Layla Anwar sums up the feelings of many of the war's victims in a recent post on her web site "An Arab Women's Blues":

    "At the gates of Babylon the Great, you are still struggling, fighting away, chasing this or the other, detaining, bombing from above, filling up morgues, hospitals, graveyards and embassies and borders with quesesfor exit-visas.

    Not one Iraqi wishes your presence. Not one Iraqi accepts your occupation.

    Got news for you Motherf**kers, you will never control Iraq, not in six years, not in ten years, not in 20 years....You have brought upon yourself the hate and the curse of all Iraqis, Arabs and the rest of the face your agony." (Layla Anwar; "An Arab Women's Blues: Reflections in a sealed bottle"

    Is Bush hoping to change the mind of Layla or the millions of other Iraqis who have lost loved ones or been forced into exile or seen their country and culture crushed beneath the bootheel of foreign occupation?
    [ No he is just trying to force them to do what HE and his neo-con ilk want, he doesn't give a good god damned what they really think, no more then he does care what we all think. Neither does Cheney he has made that very plain.] The hearts and minds campaign is lost. The US will never be welcome in Iraq.

    According to a survey in the British Medical Journal "Lancet" more than a million Iraqis have been killed in the war. Another four million have been either internally-displaced or have fled the country. But the figures tell us nothing about the magnitude of the disaster that Bush has caused by attacking Iraq. The invasion is the greatest human catastrophe in the Middle East since the Nakba in 1948. Living standards have declined precipitously in every area---infant mortality, clean water, food-security, medical supplies, education, electrical power, employment etc. Even oil production is still below pre-war levels. The invasion is the most comprehensive policy failure since Vietnam; everything has gone wrong. The heart of the Arab world has descended into chaos. The suffering is incalculable.

    The main problem is the occupation; it is the primary catalyst for violence and an obstacle to political settlement. As long as the occupation persists, so will the fighting.
    [Tell that to McCain, he thinks the occupation is a good thing, he wants decades more of it.] The claims that the so-called surge has changed the political landscape are greatly exaggerated. Retired Lt. General William Odom commented on this point in an interview on the Jim Lerher News Hour:

    "The surge has sustained military instability and achieved nothing in political consolidation....Things are much worse now. And I don't see them getting any better. This was foreseeable a year and a half ago. And to continue to put the cozy veneer of comfortable half-truths on this is to deceive the American public and to make them think it is not the charade it is.....When you say that the Lebanization of Iraq is taking place, yes, but not because of Iran, but because the U.S. went in and made this kind of fragmentation possible. And it has occurred over the last five years....The al-Maliki government is worse off now...The notion that there;'s some kind of progress is absurd. The al-Maliki government uses its Ministry of Interior like a death squad militia. So to call Sadr an extremist and Maliki a good guy just overlooks the reality that there are no good guys." (Jim Lerher News Hour)
    [What he said.]

    The war in Iraq was lost before the first shot was fired.
    [But those who have never been to war and avoided it like the plague, don't seem to understand that. they think war is just like on TV or the Movies where Rambo, John Wayne or some other celluloid hero can save the day and win the war singlehanded, just like on 24. They don't do reality or real world situations very well, they try to create their own reality, and we all know that people who make up things instead of dealing with reality are dealing with a fantasy world. Too bad the death and destruction they keep creating is so very real to the rest of us.] The conflict never had the support of the American people and Iraq never posed a threat to US national security. The whole pretext for the war was based on lies; it was a coup orchestrated by elites and the media to carry out a far-right agenda. Now the mission has failed, but no one wants to admit their mistakes by withdrawing; so the butchery continues without pause.

    How Will It End?

    The Bush administration has decided to pursue a strategy that is unprecedented in US history. It has decided to continue to prosecute a war that has already been lost morally, strategically, and militarily. But fighting a losing war has its costs. America is much weaker now than it was when Bush first took office in 2000; politically, economically and militarily. US power and prestige around the world will continue to deteriorate until the troops are withdrawn from Iraq. But that's unlikely to happen until all other options have been exhausted. Deteriorating economic conditions in the financial markets are putting enormous downward pressure on the dollar. The corporate bond and equities markets are in disarray; the banking system is collapsing, consumer spending is down, tax revenues are falling, and the country is headed into a painful and protracted recession. The US will leave Iraq sooner than many pundits believe, but it will not be at a time of our choosing. Rather, the conflict will end when the United States no longer has the capacity to wage war. That time is not far off.

    The Iraq War signals the end of US interventionism for at least a generation; maybe longer.
    [Just like Vietnam did.] The ideological foundation for the war (preemption/regime change) has been exposed as a baseless justification for unprovoked aggression. Someone will have to be held accountable. There will have to be international tribunals to determine who is responsible in the deaths of over one million Iraqis.

    This looks just like the end to Vietnam.

    A president trying to get the local government to take over for US troops, but the locals don't have as much invested in the political-military fight as the invading country, so they refuse to fight like the occupiers want them to.

    Vast sums of financial capital are being diverted out of the country as the economic situation worsens and the worlds energy system goes through a very disruptive period.

    The US citizenry, by a large majority, wants an end to this illegal insane foreign policy.

    The US government keeps talking about some type of victory, but the locals DON'T see victory as the Americans do: In fact the locals are even more divided then the Americans are at home.

    Historically no total military victory over a local population to force political change as divided as Iraq's are has been achieved with out some sort of actions which could only be termed as genocide for the losing party.

    That I hope is not what some think of when they keep the illusion of a victory in Iraq alive.

    The bright boys of the GOP have pegged their futures on 100 years McCain?

    Good luck, because he has to explain what "victory" looks like in Iraqi terms.

    How many of Motaqa al Sadr's followers have to be shot down in cold blood to achieve it?

    Is the beginning of apartheid which has begun in Baghdad the lasting legacy of such a victory?

    Does McCain propose a separate Kurdish region as they want, or is he willing to use the US military to force them into Iraq?

    What happens when the future Iraqi government allies itself with Iran, over throw the government of Iraq again?

    And just how welcome in the middle east does he think the US will be during these 100 years?

    He wants 100 years to "solve" these issues, but we don't have the credit with our banker countries we borrow from for 100 more years.

    No wonder McCain doesn't understand this, he don't do economics, he said so.

    But then again Karl Rove admitted GOPers don't do reality they MAKE it up to create an alternate reality with out drugs I think.

    Which is why the US is stuck in Iraq, an alternate reality has crashed and burned on reality itself, and GOPers can't deal with it.

    So they wanna hold on for 9 more months and hand the mess off, unless Mccain some how wins.

    Then four more years of delusions and the deaths and destructions those delusions have wrought upon Iraq and it's people.

    If that is the case, God help us all, especially the troops and Iraqi's who will be caught in the Kafkaesque scenario started by Bush and pursued by McCain.

  18. Mike you will be interested in this one;

    The decline and fall of the American empire of debt

    Another election year, another jeremiad from Kevin Phillips. As the veteran political commentator notes in the preface to "Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism," the new book is his fourth in six years, which is impressive production by any standard. Phillips claims he did not originally intend to mark the 2008 election campaign with yet another tome lambasting the state of America. But really, what are you supposed to do when all your dire predictions of catastrophe and imperial decline start manifesting themselves in real time? As a Cassandra ready for his close-up, Phillips has every right to pump out a quickie I-told-you-so.

    What is amazing is how lucid Phillips manages to be in 200 or so pages that were assembled on very short notice. The credit crunch that paralyzed Wall Street last August is the catalyst, but Phillips is up-to-date, economically speaking, right through the end of 2007. And he's lucky, even if the country isn't -- nothing that has happened since the new year began disproves Phillips' main theme, which is that Wall Street's chickens have come home to roost. The opposite is true -- every day brings further evidence that flaws in the foundation on which the United States is constructed are cracking wide open.

    In his three most recent books, "Wealth and Democracy," "American Theocracy" and "American Dynasty," Phillips obsessed over what he describes as "the scary intersection of oil, debt, and religion." He doesn't so much repeat himself in "Bad Money" (although regular readers will find a great deal that is familiar) as he delivers a masterly recapitulative summation. The dots have all been connected, the picture is now complete.

    Phillips has warned for years about the inevitably malign consequences of what he calls the "financialization" of the American economy. Sometime in the mid-'90s, he writes, financial services overtook manufacturing as the biggest chunk of the U.S. gross domestic product. If you believe, as Phillips does, that all the furious activity on Wall Street masterminded by the likes of Citigroup and Goldman-Sachs and Merrill Lynch is just a bunch of speculation and froth that doesn't actually result in the creation of anything real, then there has never been a better time for triumphantly pointing out the disasters that ensue when the rest of the world also realizes that Wall Street is wearing no clothes.

    This book's thesis, now that a quarter century's results are in hand, is that the eighties can be identified as the launching pad of a decisive financial sector takeover of the U.S. economy, consummated by turbocharged, relentless expansion of financial debt, and eventual extension of mortgage credit to subprime and other unqualified buyers. The two converging pumps helped to swell the housing, mortgage, and credit bubble that began imploding in the summer of 2007.

    The numbers provided by Phillips for financial debt are staggering. He assesses public debt -- "federal, state and local obligations" -- as totaling around $11 trillion. But private debt -- "financial, corporate, and mortgage" -- writes Phillips, far surpasses public obligations: a whopping $37 trillion.

    Is he trying to say the cure of republican right wing conservatism is MUCH worse then the claimed "disease" of liberalism?

    Sounds like it.

  19. BTW to all the wingnut trolls the Clintons ARE no liberals and never have been, their political views are as changeable as Mitt Romney's have ever been.

    They have been a little more successful at getting the corporate controlled media to spin for them, but then again Hillary did the bidding of Wal-mart when she was on their board for all those years, I wonder how much Bill did for them, like getting china to open up for trade .... so Wal-Mart could send so many factories there for cheap sweat shop goods?

    Like sitting back while Greenspan allowed the tech bubble to inflate the economy and claiming credit for such a strong economy; just like Bush set back and claimed a strong economy while all it really was, was Greenspan lowering the price of credit to inflate the housing bubble so many Americans could take out their equity and spend it on cheap trinkets from China and vacations or new SUV's which are about the most costly thing the use now.

    No wonder why the Clenis and Poppy Bush are such good friends, the Clenis is the son Poppy wishes he had instead of the stupidest person to ever sh*t in the white house.

  20. According to the Colbert Report, Chris Matthews wants to run for Arlen Spectors senate seat in 2010.

    After all the years of TV he was on, that would be an interesting campaign.

  21. clif said...
    Mike you will be interested in this one;

    The decline and fall of the American empire of debt

    Another election year, another jeremiad from Kevin Phillips. As the veteran political commentator notes in the preface to "Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism," the new book is his fourth in six years, which is impressive production by any standard. Phillips claims he did not originally intend to mark the 2008 election campaign with yet another tome lambasting the state of America. But really, what are you supposed to do when all your dire predictions of catastrophe and imperial decline start manifesting themselves in real time? As a Cassandra ready for his close-up, Phillips has every right to pump out a quickie I-told-you-so."

    Just ordered it Clif............Kevin Phillips books are outstanding!

  22. Another interesting book that is timed perfect for the election that i intend to read is this one........

    Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict

    By Joseph Stiglitz

    Readers may be surprised to learn just how difficult it was for Nobel Prize-winning economist Stiglitz and Kennedy School of Government professor Bilmes to dig up the actual and projected costs of the Iraq War for this thorough piece of accounting. Using "emergency" funds to pay for most of the war, the authors show that the White House has kept even Congress and the Comptroller General from getting a clear idea on the war's true costs. Other expenses are simply overlooked, one of the largest of which is the $600 billion going toward current and future health care for veterans. These numbers reveal stark truths: improvements in battlefield medicine have prevented many deaths, but seven soldiers are injured for every one that dies (in WWII, this ratio was 1.6 to one). Figuring in macroeconomic costs and interest--the war has been funded with much borrowed money--the cost rises to $4.5 trillion; add Afghanistan, and the bill tops $7 trillion. This shocking expose, capped with 18 proposals for reform, is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how the war was financed, as well as what it means for troops on the ground and the nation's future. (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

  23. Hillary Clinton is such a pathetic insincere dishonest liar with absolutely zero credibility or integrity who has the judgement of a turnip.........Did you guys see how insincere and dishonest she sounded last night.

    She CLAIMED she is SUCH a person of faith that she cant think of one experience where faith played a meaningful role in her life....................BWAHAHAHA what a phony!!!

    Then Hillary started babbling about how her father took her hunting yet couldnt remember what age she was when her father taught her to shoot and didnt think it relevant or significant.....................BWAHAHAHA!! the fearless varmint hunter must have been channeling the dishonest pandering Mitt Rommney that would say or do ANYTHING to get elected...........Since this experience was so memorable and life altering important i wonder if Hillary took her daughter hunting and taught her how to shoot if it was REALLY that meaningful to her.

    To top off the hippocrissy of Clinton she, a person who earned over 110 million is accusing Obama of being an elitest.............sounds kind of like the Orwellianrepugs trying to paint teachers earning $40,000, college professors and Hollywood writers and actors as elitists rather than CEO's making 400 million a year, or the Media Moguls, and Corporate and media emperors and oligopolists who lord over the working class and manipulate and shape public opinions to suit there interests and self serving agendas with their deceptions and media sorcery.

  24. Oh, and last but CERTAINLY not least I forgot the judgement and electability issue..........Hillary Clinton has shown continually poor and horrific judgement from "DAY ONE"

    There should be mental and intelligence tests to qualify people to be President and bottom line an ass clown who sings songs about bombing other countries, or one who makes a parody, a mockery and a joke at a White House dinner about not being able to find WMD when this war that is based on nothing but a pack of lies, has resulted in over a million uneccessary deaths and countless soldiers disabled and maimed and is projected to have squandered over 3 TRILLION dollars that we dont have and have gone into debt and mortgaged our childrens and grandchildren's future and our own retirement to fund should not be considered qualified to run for or remain president just as a hippocritical fool who from DAY ONE uses piss poor judgement giving a lying ideologue who had been beating the war drums for over a year and using Orwellian, Nazi tactics and talk to manipulate us into a uneccessary war of choice the authority to go to war...........further she defended said stupid decision and played the fearless chickenhawk untill a few months ago when it finnally dawned on the dunce that 80% of America is against the war and she couldnt get elected playing a hawk so she flipflopped and PRETENDED To be a peacnik from day one..................Then to top it off after using negativity and veiled rascism (futher examples of poor judgement she tells a whopper of a bald faced lie about running with her head down while under sniper fire then has the gall to behave JUST LIKE THE IDIOT IN CHIEF and make a joke out of a Presidential Candidate (her) telling a whopper of a lie and getting caught red handed..............didnt a certain presdident get impeached for lying............funny we got another one that thinks lying and acting like Karl Rove and GWB makes her MORE electable................BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

    I've had enough of these Orwellian fascists using McCarthy and Nazi talk to tar and feather their opponents as elitists, hating their country, hating the troops, in league with the terrorists and wanting the terrorists to'd think people CLAIMING to be patriots would wanna talk and act more like Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson etc......than Hitler, McCarthy or Big Brother..........or at least their own lives on the line fighting the wars they crave rather than sending others over to fight and die then claiming that sending the troops over to die and cutting their benefits and health care is supporting them while trying to bring them home safely and get them increased pay and care is NOT supporting them.

  25. My prediction is Clinton will be FORCED out by the beginning of JUNE..........she will be given the choice to try to unite the party and help Obama win or she will be it plays out will come down to wether she is smart enough to look at the big picture and play ball or wether she remains a greedy bitter person who puts her own greed and ambition over the good of the country and the party.

  26. Remember after 9-11 When George W Bush told us all just to go shopping?

    Well I guess America is just not patriotic enough according to Bush's standards;

    Retailing Chains Caught in a Wave of Bankruptcies

    The consumer spending slump and tightening credit markets are unleashing a widening wave of bankruptcies in American retailing, prompting thousands of store closings that are expected to remake suburban malls and downtown shopping districts across the country.

    Since last fall, eight mostly midsize chains — as diverse as the furniture store Levitz and the electronics seller Sharper Image — have filed for bankruptcy protection as they staggered under mounting debt and declining sales.

    But the troubles are quickly spreading to bigger national companies, like Linens ‘n Things, the bedding and furniture retailer with 500 stores in 47 states. It may file for bankruptcy as early as this week, according to people briefed on the matter.

    Even retailers that can avoid bankruptcy are shutting down stores to preserve cash through what could be a long economic downturn. Over the next year, Foot Locker said it would close 140 stores, Ann Taylor will start to shutter 117, and the jeweler Zales will close 100.

    Either we ain't patriotic "enuf", or SOMEBODY has screwed up the economy real bad.

    One question, according to Bush's logic;

    If too many stores go bankrupt, does that mean Bin Forgotten wins?

  27. Warning LANGUAGE which would make a drunken sailor embarrassed;

    Obama Says That Poor People Are Pissed; Everyone Goes Nutzoid:

    (a gentler part)

    Obama wasn't looking down on anyone or disrespecting the workers of America. He was acknowledging something real about small towns where the factories have closed, where the economic centers have been shuttered, and where the people have been told that a tax cut for millionaires is what's going to get them their jobs and economic security back. Obama's giving those people voice and agency: when you are disempowered, you seek other means to have power, whether it's through the gun or through the disempowering of others, or through the comfort of faith, which promises you oodles in heaven for your sufferings on earth.

  28. CLif: so Matthews is running..welp that will be a bitter contest ?? won't it...and yeah, we all are to blame for the economy- we did not shop enough....right....

    MIKE: about Hillary- do you really think she can think about WHAT she is doing- I don't think she cares about uniting the Party- her whole campaign is baout Dividing us right now as a people...really sad....BTW did you see her talk about the GUN issue- and how children should be learning about guns- i could not believe the Media walked right by her saying she thinks children should be around guns ????WHAT....and the media went mute....I don't think she cares about the by day it is MORE about her...this weekend we saw that she will drink for a Vote, keep Mark Penn on her staff, make a big stink because Obama acknowedged people are Bitter, and she even got cozy with NRA folks....What NExt??? you have to wonder....what vote will she seek ? retired Felons? nuns with guns? ( I am joking .... but you gotta wonder...)

    Lydia: I was serious if you hear anything about fundraising for the Iraqi hero I would glad put a messege on my blog...thanks for sharing Valerie with us.,..

  29. Lydia, I so wish I had more time to listen to your great shows. On the rare occasions that I can, they are a treat.

  30. Thank you tomCat and Enigma.

    There is a huge LABOR MARCH today all over L.A. and Orange County.

  31. No Enigma, your right, Hillary doesnt care about uniting the party..........all she cares about is whats best for HER.....................and because all she cares about is whats best for her she MAY start to play ball if she realizes that the consequences of burning bridges with just about EVERY key power person in the Democratic party just could blackball Shillery and Billary and destroy her political career and put an end to Billy Bob's 110 million in lucrative speeches.

    I honestly dont know if they are smart enough to look at the big picture and get past their arrogance and megalomanical greed and phony sense of entitlement........but i'll tell you this if Obama wins there will be a changing of the guard and new alliances and power bases will be created and it would not be wise for the Clinton;s to be outsiders who are banished and relegated to peeking in from the outside.

  32. Valerie Bertinelli Really looks good..........I look forward to catching the Interview as well!

  33. You are about to witness the Clinton's become marginalized and see a changing of the guard in the Demacratic party...........what i think will be interesting is whether the Clinton's retain ANY relevannce at all or they become blackballed outcasts due to their pathetic deplorable behavior that is just like Rove's and the slimy repug operatives and minions who answer to Bush and Rove.

  34. Thank you Mike, that is so sweet. Meant to thank you for your kind comments sooner.


  35. Mike:
    I thought about what you wrote, and you know you are right....there will be a changing of the Guard- and even in the past 24 hours Barney Franks and even Wait for it...yes Gov.Rendell have been talking more realistically about Hill' s Number 2 Position....really interesting....

    ( also Biden kind of "hinted" at it on Keith O. tonight as well....that Hill will have to get in sync.....and behave...he didn't say "it" but he definently hinted...)

    I am sick of the Bickering- we shpuld be talking about things that Matter ( not us here- the talking head pundits...the Media...)

    I have a new post up tonight about Hill's Dinner Experience last night- it showed me that Pa. People are Moving past the Bitter Dialogue...

    But this past week - she has talk about kids and guns and no one batted an eye, we got to see her drinking with the boys ( which btw I don't see HOW that makes her a "better" candidate.....?) What an awful week...the Anniversary of the VT Tech Killings is coming up...Iraq is as bloody as ever....and the New Foreclosure Numbers are horrendous...and FOOD is through the Roof...So many things for all of us to talk about....and Focus on....

    ( okay half way through Val's Book- Excellent- just like she is talking to you sitting on the bus- she is very funny.....Btw Mike I am not sure there are enough pics for you ;-)

    Hope all is well Lydia- Hope the Marches went well....( I check the news, but did not see anything...)

    ( oh, one last thing Lydia- just to let you know the Media /AP said there were protests in Seattle- my ex lives there and he said that was Baloney...he also said that it was packed everyday at the events , atleast 300,000 people saw the Dalai.....really good news on that front- FULL attendence , Standing Room only at the Compassion Conference).....


  36. I think we have just entered a NEW political era and are about to see a sea change in both political party's

    Remember one of the last big change elections, in 1980 when Reagan started the Conservative revolution in particular, do you remember the 1980 debate with Jimmy Carter when Reagan just backhanded Carter and totally diminished him with his "There You Go Again Mr President"...............well Obama just did that to Clinton with his Annie Oaklie comment.

    Fol;ks to coin a TV phrase Shillerie Clinton just jumped the shark its over..........i think by Early June at the latest it will be over and Obama can work on uniting the party to pummel the Angry old man.

    I honestly havent been this hopeful about this election since Thanksgiving before Clinton started her divisive Rovian smear campaign of lies.

  37. Enigma, Lydia, I can FEEL the change I know in my gut things will work out i havent been this positive since around Thanksgiving BEFORE Clinton started her divisive Rovian smear campaign..............i think Obama will win it all.

  38. enigma4ever said...
    I thought about what you wrote, and you know you are right....there will be a changing of the Guard- and even in the past 24 hours Barney Franks and even Wait for it...yes Gov.Rendell have been talking more realistically about Hill' s Number 2 Position....really interesting....

    ( also Biden kind of "hinted" at it on Keith O. tonight as well....that Hill will have to get in sync.....and behave...he didn't say "it" but he definently hinted...)

    I am sick of the Bickering- we shpuld be talking about things that Matter ( not us here- the talking head pundits...the Media...)"

    I've noticed those SAME things Enigma over the last 3 weeks or so and the trend is gathering momentum...............Clinton is FINISHED.

    Some of the Superdelegates are hinting at whats coming...........we need to let them know the will of the people by voicing our opinions in the blogs..........THEN the Superdelegates will ALL jump in unison and end this fiasco and make it clear to Clinton and her cult of thugs the way things are gonna be.

  39. The US is never leaving the region or withdrawing from Iraq. McCain is right about staying, but 100 years is too long. The oil won't last that long.

    And the USSR was going to control the Middle East from their Afghani bases.

    We're leaving Iraq. Whether we leave of our own volition or we leave because our country fell apart, we're leaving.

  40. The Department of Defense has released its latest American military casualty numbers for those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the figures reveal non-fatal casualties that go well beyond the more than 4,000 U.S. troops who have died so far.

    As of April 5, a total of 36,082 members of the U.S. military have been wounded in action and killed in Iraq, since the beginning of the war in March 2003, and in Afghanistan, where the war there began in October 2001. The 36,082 number breaks down to 4,492 deaths and 31,590 wounded. According to the same DoD "casualty" counts, an additional 38,631 U.S. military personnel have also been removed from the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan for "non-hostile-related medical air transports."

    "That's a tremendous number," said Paul Sullivan, the executive director of the advocate group Veterans for Common Sense, who believes these latest figures paint a more realistic picture of the true cost of the Iraq and Afghan wars. He is concerned troop casualties, including those who have been wounded, killed and medically transported, is now nearing 75,000.

    Defense Department spokesperson Cynthia Smith, however, told CBS News the numbers must be carefully interpreted. Smith said the 38,631 "non-hostile-related medical air transports" are not casualties of war even though they are listed in the DoD's "casualty" documents because, she says, they were for "injuries not related to service, they were unrelated to combat."

    Smith described the "non-hostile-related" injuries as the types that "could happen to any civilian on the street."

    "Our main focus is severe trauma care in the theater," she said. For example, "if a woman needs her annual check up, we don't have the capability of doing that [on the ground in Iraq] so we would air transport her out." According to Smith, the 36,082 tally is a more "accurate" reflection how many military service men and women have been fatal and non-fatal casualties in connection to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as of April 5.

    Sullivan points out that the military's casualty reports also exclude the "enormous number [of new veterans] flooding the VA," often with medical problems developed due to the war. A January report by the Department of Veterans Affairs showed 299,585 veterans who recently served in the Middle East had been treated by the VA since 2002. Forty percent (120,049) of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who sought care from the VA did so for mental health disorders.

    In the eyes of Bush and McCain: These are "merely" the means to a corporate end.

  41. A company of Iraqi soldiers abandoned their positions on Tuesday night in Sadr City, defying American soldiers who implored them to hold the line against Shiite militias.

    The retreat left a crucial stretch of road on the front lines undefended for hours and led to a tense series of exchanges between American soldiers and about 50 Iraqi troops who were fleeing.

    Is this what being ready to "step up in order to step down?"

  42. Bombings blamed on al-Qaida in Iraq tore through market areas in Baghdad and outside the capital on Tuesday, killing nearly 60 people and shattering weeks of relative calm in Sunni-dominated areas.

    The bloodshed _ in four cities as far north as Mosul and as far west as Ramadi _ struck directly at U.S. claims that the Sunni insurgency is waning and being replaced by Shiite militia violence as a major threat.

    The deadliest blasts took place in Baqouba and Ramadi, two cities where the U.S. military has claimed varying degrees of success in getting Sunnis to turn against al-Qaida.

    In Baqouba, the Diyala provincial capital 35 miles northeast of the capital, a parked car exploded about 11:30 a.m. in front of a restaurant across the street from the central courthouse and other government offices.

    Many of the victims were on their way to the court, at the restaurant or in cars passing through the area. A man identifying himself as Abu Sarmad had just ordered lunch.

    "I heard a big explosion and hot wind threw me from my chair to outside the restaurant," he said from his hospital bed.

    The force of the blast jolted the concrete barriers erected along the road to protect the courthouse, witnesses said.

    At least 40 people were killed and 70 wounded, according to hospital officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information.

    The U.S. military in northern Iraq gave a slightly lower toll, saying 35 Iraqi citizens were killed, including a policeman, and 66 wounded. It said the blast destroyed three buses and damaged 10 shops.

    AP Television News footage showed many of the bodies covered in crisp white sheets and black plastic bags in a hospital courtyard while the emergency room inside was overwhelmed with the wounded.

    It was the deadliest bombing in Iraq since March 6, when a twin bombing killed 68 people in a crowded shopping district in the central Baghdad district of Karradah. The attack was also the deadliest in Baqouba since The Associated Press began tracking Iraqi casualties in late April 2005

    Is this what Bush and McCain call success?

  43. The New York Times' Jim Yardley writes that Chinese officials are demanding CNN apologize for Jack Cafferty's comments last week. In the April 9 broadcast of "The Situation Room," seen below, Cafferty referred to Chinese exports as "junk" and described the nation as "goons and thugs."

    Finally someone at CNN speaks the truth.

  44. Reuters) - Home foreclosure filings surged 57 percent in the 12 month-period ended in March and bank repossessions soared 129 percent from a year ago, as homeowners struggled to make mortgage payments, real estate data firm RealtyTrac said on Tuesday.

    For the month of March, foreclosure filings, default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions rose 5 percent, led by Nevada, California and Florida, RealtyTrac said.

    The rise in March to filings on a total of 234,685 properties followed a 4 percent decline in February, RealtyTrac reported.

    RealtyTrac said the peak has yet to be reached.

    If only the owner of that run down chicken ranch in Crawford would face such a fate.

  45. Obama, Bitterness, Meet the Press, and the Old Politics

    By Robert Reich

    I was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, 61 years ago. My father sold $1.98 cotton blouses to blue-collar women and women whose husbands worked in factories. Years later, I was secretary of labor of the United States, and I tried the best I could – which wasn’t nearly good enough – to help reverse one of the most troublesome trends America has faced: The stagnation of middle-class wages and the expansion of povety. Male hourly wages began to drop in the early 1970s, adjusted for inflation. The average man in his 30s is earning less than his father did thirty years ago. Yet America is far richer. Where did the money go? To the top.

    Are Americans who have been left behind frustrated? Of course. And their frustrations, their anger and, yes, sometimes their bitterness, have been used since then -- by demagogues, by nationalists and xenophobes, by radical conservatives, by political nuts and fanatical fruitcakes – to blame immigrants and foreign traders, to blame blacks and the poor, to blame "liberal elites," to blame anyone and anything.

    Rather than counter all this, the American media have wallowed in it. Some, like Fox News and talk radio, have given the haters and blamers their very own megaphones. The rest have merely "reported on" it. Instead of focusing on how to get Americans good jobs again; instead of admitting too many of our schools are failing and our kids are falling behind their contemporaries in Europe, Japan, and even China; instead of showing why we need a more progressive tax system to finance better schools and access to health care, and green technologies that might create new manufacturing jobs, our national discussion has been mired in the old politics.

    Listen to this morning’s “Meet the Press” if you want an example. Tim Russert, one of the smartest guys on television, interviewed four political consultants – Carville and Matalin, Bob Schrum, and Michael Murphy. Political consultants are paid huge sums to help politicians spin words and avoid real talk. They’re part of the problem. And what do Russert and these four consultants talk about? The potential damage to Barack Obama from saying that lots of people in Pennsylvania are bitter that the economy has left them behind; about HRC’s spin on Obama’s words (he’s an “elitist,” she said); and John McCain’s similarly puerile attack.

    Does Russert really believe he’s doing the nation a service for this parade of spin doctors talking about potential spins and the spin-offs from the words Obama used to state what everyone knows is true? Or is Russert merely in the business of selling TV airtime for a network that doesn’t give a hoot about its supposed commitment to the public interest but wants to up its ratings by pandering to the nation’s ongoing desire for gladiator entertainment instead of real talk about real problems.

    We’re heading into the worst economic crisis in a half century or more. Many of the Americans who have been getting nowhere for decades are in even deeper trouble. Large numbers of people in Pennsylvania and across the nation are losing their homes and losing their jobs, and the situation is likely to grow worse. Consumers are at the end of their ropes, fuel and food costs are skyrocketing, they can’t go deeper into debt, they can’t pay their bills. They aren’t buying, which means every business from the auto industry to housing to even giant GE is hurting. Which means they’ll begin laying off more people, and as they do, we will experience an even more dangerous downward spiral.

    Bitter? You ain’t seen nothing yet. And as much as people like Russert, Carville, Matalin, Schrum, and Murphy want to divert our attention from what’s really happening; as much as HRC and McCain seek to make political hay out of choices of words that can be spun cynically by the mindless spinners of the old politics; as much as demagogues on the right and left continue to try to channel the cumulative frustrations of Americans into a politics of resentment – all these attempts will, I hope, prove futile. Eighty percent of Americans know the nation is on the wrong track. The old politics, and the old media that feeds it, are irrelevant now.

  46. If only the owner of that run down chicken ranch in Crawford would face such a fate.

    Larry it was actually a pig farm before Bush bought it, but Bush don't do horses, cows or any other farm animals, that would be hard work.

    BTW it is quite interesting just how the world affairs have turned out isn't it;

    The invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR in 1979 and the pronouncement of the "evil empire", by 1989 the retreat, the collapse of the Soviet Union, destitution and rape of the economy by Western business interests, the supposed victory of the American Empire and an epitaph for Russia.

    Now a little over two decades later, the American Empire is in tatters, caught in the duel quagmires of Afghanistan and Iraq, considered an "evil empire" by much of the world, destitute and ready to be devoured by eastern and middle eastern business interests.

    And the people who claimed to have all the answers didn't do much better in the economic realm;

    In the 1980's people attacking the government touted just how wonderful the free markets would make America, and now after two and a half decades of their philosophy the entire system is lurching toward an abyss, with no real hope of a solution.

    It is the most ironic state of affairs.

    Sad because so many are suffering because of the arrogance greed, and stubbornness of a few, but ironic just the same.

  47. Hey there...
    Hi Lydia, Larry, Mike and Clif, and Bartle....I am lliveblogging the Debate tonight....( I have done them all- I am thinking I need a sanity check? .....) but anyways all are welcome....

    I hope I am not toooo bitter ;-)

  48. BTW to all the wingnut trolls the Clintons ARE no liberals and never have been, their political views are as changeable as Mitt Romney's have ever been.

    Only an idiot would even try to assert that Clinton ever was a liberal.

    I'm not saying we weren't a hell of a lot better off under Clinton, because we were. But the reason has more to do with the federal budget being in technical surplus than any other reason.

  49. Jolly- I think you are wordpress- so I am leaving a messege for you here...I am blocked/flitered by wordpress....worst debate ever...for sure....thanks for coming over...

    anyone interested....yes I did liveblog head hurts...

  50. By Jason Linkens

    Going into tonight's debate in Philadelphia, the two millionth one we've had so far this primary season, I had one significant worry: that the bulk of the time would be taken up with process questions and media obsessions, and that issues of import would end up getting sidelined. As it turns out, I was depressingly, distressingly correct. In fact, there were times when tonight's debate ventured into territory so utterly asinine that I could scarcely believe what I was witnessing.

    Twas not until the nine-o'clock hour drew nigh that a single issue-oriented question was asked. The entire first hour was dedicated to silly campaign queries and scandals both du jour and d'antan. Before a single question was posed about the War in Iraq or the economy was asked, the viewing audience had to wade through the following:

    Any chance at a "Dream Ticket?"

    "Bitter, much?"

    "Do you think your opponent stands a chance against McCain?"

    "What about Reverend Wright?"

    "Wait. I have an even stupider question about Reverend Wright."

    "Seriously. Who were you fooling with that Bosnia shizz?"

    "Hey, Hussein! Why no American flag lapel pin?"

    "Hey, Sean Hannity wanted me to ask you something, Barack! I got a question on the Weather Underground! Maybe later we'll talk about the Symbionese Liberation Army!"

    All of these questions have been beaten to a pulp, grim death. And neither candidate really had anything new to add to the responses they've already offered time and time again. It was as if ABC News, left out of the twenty-four hour news cycle that spawned these zombo-droid queries, needed to get in their licks on the same matters, too, just so they could feel like they'd played a part in every last one of the primary season's glittering inanities.

    Why in the world George Stephanopoulos felt compelled to ask Barack Obama if Reverend Wright "loved America" after he had already been made to give another recitation of his repudiation of Wright's remarks is a question that simply defies the imagination. What sort of sensible answer can be given to that question? It would require astral projection to properly gauge another man's emotional state. And if you want to ask Hillary Clinton to account for the odd contortions she advanced on the matter of her Bosnia recollections, just sack up and ask. Don't hide behind the additional, pointless cruelty of a random voter's scoldings that Clinton lost their vote. What a wholly superfluous pile on!

    And the flag lapel pin question came with this admonishment from Charles Gibson: "It keeps coming up, again and again." Well, no shit, Charlie! It keeps "coming up, again and again" because the media resolutely refuses to obtain the necessary courage to stop doing so.

    Gibson and Stephanopoulos did deign to squeeze in a few questions of substance, on the Iraq War, taxes, Iran's nuclear ambitions, gun control, and energy independence. But it was quite clear that the moderators could have cared less about the content of the candidate's responses. Instead, they concerned themselves with pinning Obama and Clinton down on a series of absurd "pledges," for the purpose, no doubt, of providing the "gotcha" questions of tomorrow.

    To their credit, Clinton and Obama were thoughtful enough to broach the topic of the housing market. Good thing! It didn't occur to the moderators to ask!

    The string of issue-oriented questions didn't last long. The debate concluded with a question on how the candidates would "use" George W. Bush in the future. (As a hat-rack, maybe?) And the invitation to make a closing statement required each candidate to imagine how they would win the support of a superdelegate. Process nonsense to the end.

    Throughout the night, ABC returned from commercials with bumpers that featured random quotes from the Constitution, because something, apparently, needed to substitute for gravitas.

    Like I said, there have been several thousand of these debates. Most, I've watched. Many, I've covered or liveblogged. A few, I have sat very still, and hoped for the sweet release that only the icy hand of death can provide. Tonight was the first time I would have dearly loved to see Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama team up and turn the tables on their interrogators.

    Before ABC signed off for the evening, Gibson heard a reaction from the audience and observed, "The crowd is turning on me."

    If only they'd done so sooner.

  51. I have posted the ABC Contact Numbers to file Complaints.

  52. Thanks Enigma, your comments were Righton the Money, i couldnt agree more, and i'll contact ABC!

  53. BTW, isnt the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different since the MSM KEEPS asking Obama OVER and OVER AGAIN about Rev Wright and the bitter comment after he has answered the same close to a 100 times they are clearly insane along with being dishonest, biased and totally pasthetic and disgraceful.

  54. BTW, in all honesty i do have to concede one point to Hillary, since she keeps focusing on the bitter comment so much.................Hillary knows bitter and divisive WAY BETTER than might say she is the expert who's cornered the marget on those two traits.........unfortunately honesty, sincerety, credibility and integrity NOT SO MUCH.........................BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

  55. Another interesting point, Clinton ADMITTED in the debate that Obama is electable and can beat McCrazy, in front of the ENTIRE nation...........kinda undermines the Rovian hippocrites CLAIMS that Obama is NOT electable and ONLY she can beat the Angry Old Man!

  56. Like I said yesterday Clinton Jumped the shark with Bosnia and she is FINISHED!!

    By Early June Hillary will be gone and the party can unite around Obama to beat McCrazy...............Clinton is to pompous and arrogant to see the winds of change and the shift that is happening just like Rove and Bush were thats why she is clinging to the same pathetic divisive politics and that is why she will lose and be marginalized.


  57. Oh look the pathetic LOSER Rusty is in here trying to spin things to help Clinton because he's SCARED of Obama..............Slither back under your rock troll, you know how snakes need to be dealt with!

  58. Bye Bye little troll!

  59. Lydia:
    In Support of Obama ( against the Right Wing Driven Machine, read my blog for more details). Please think about Posting the YES WE CAN Song on 4.17.08 in solidarity- I am telling as many blogs as possible. Thank you.

  60. (Lydia- my apologies- but I have to do this)

    As I politely Explained on MY Blog,with MY RULES....I don't allow Trolls or Bigots or Rudeness, the comfort of My Readers is Number One.

    YOU are NOT Welcome at MY Blog. Period.

    I meant it.

  61. Rusty:
    Just to Be Really Clear.
    I have Deleted YOUR Comments 15 Times tonight on my Blog.


  62. Rusty:
    Just in Case you are Illiterate- I meant what I said- I delete ALL Trolls- Even YOU.

    17 Times .
    That is Harrassment.
    Harrassing Women is Not Cool.
    Enough is Enough.

    You will remain Invisible , DELETED on My Blog.
    MY readers on MY Blog Come First.


    George W. McCain

    JOHN MCCAIN acknowledged that he didn't know much about economics a few weeks ago, and this shortcoming manifested itself yesterday when he unveiled his fiscal platform. But he does know something about Republican politics. McCain stuck closely to the ideology of the party when he proposed tax cuts that belied his reputation for fiscal responsibility.

    The most dramatic plank was a call for a suspension of the 18.4-cent-a-gallon federal tax on gasoline from Memorial Day to Labor Day this year. Not even the inveterate tax cutter George Bush has the nerve to propose that one. How else is the money supposed to be raised to repair the interstate highways? Congress should let this bad idea fade into the autumn without a hearing.

    The gasoline tax idea seems devised for sound bites. The substance of McCain's plan, which depends on his election as president and a compliant Congress, is far more dangerous. Earlier in the campaign, he endorsed an extension of Bush's tax cuts and yesterday added several more: a cut in the business tax rate, a phase-out of the alternative minimum tax, doubling the exemption for dependents, and a permanent credit for research and development.

    To compensate for the cuts, McCain would freeze all discretionary spending, except for the military and veterans, and eliminate all the pork-barrel items he has crusaded against for years. He's got a point about the wastefulness of these congressional earmarks, but they totaled perhaps $20 billion last year and their elimination won't go far to defray the tax cuts. And the freeze on discretionary spending would harm important federal programs ranging from Food Stamps and Head Start to the national parks. McCain would cut sinew along with the fat.

    Discretionary spending excludes Medicare and Social Security, where funding levels are mandatory. McCain promised to reform and protect these programs but did not go into details. He and Congress would need new money to cushion the changes in both programs, but that would be unavailable because of tax cuts and the continued US involvement in Iraq that he favors. Under a McCain presidency, the national debt would soar as it has under Bush.

    McCain raised a valid point yesterday when he criticized Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for "embracing the false promise of protectionism." Their one-dimensional criticisms of free-trade slight its benefits for the US economy. But McCain is guilty of greater deceit - that a president and Congress can sustain the government with endless tax cuts, deficit spending, and false savings.

    George W McCain: Soiled, Corrupt, Deranged, Evil, War-loving and Senile.

  64. By Robert Scheer

    Are Americans unusually stupid or is it something our president put in the water? ? As millions surrender their homes and sacrifice other standards of our nation's economic and political reputation to the caprice of the Bush-Cheney imperium, a majority of voters tell pollsters that they might vote for a candidate who promises more of the same.

    Assuming that likely voters are not now thinking of yet another Republican president simply because John McCain is the only white guy left standing--an excuse as pathetic in its logic as the decision four years ago to return two Texas oil hustlers to the White House because they were not Massachusetts liberals--must mean that tens of millions of Americans have taken leave of their senses.

    If not the white-guy syndrome, why would even a shocking minority of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama supporters say they prefer McCain to the other Democrat? How otherwise to explain the nation's widespread bipartisan rejection of the Bush presidency and yet a willingness to let McCain continue in that vein?

    To be sure, as a senator, McCain has exhibited flashes of independence on behalf of taxpayers, as in his support of campaign-finance reform in which he partnered with Democrat Russ Feingold. McCain's investigations of the military-industrial complex's shameless exploitation of terrorism fears set a high standard, as in exposing the air-tanker scandal that dispatched a Boeing exec and a former Pentagon employee to prison. But his political ambition is showing. Although he previously harshly criticized the enormous waste in the Iraq occupation, today, as a presidential candidate, he opens the door to a hundred years of taxpayer dollars tossed down the drain in Iraq. The man who was tortured now hugs a leader who authorized the same.

    By so unabashedly embracing the most glaringly failed U.S. president ever, McCain has surrendered the right to be considered an independent candidate, judged on his own merits and personal history. A vote for McCain is a vote for that rancid recipe mixing religious bigotry, imperial arrogance and corporate greed that he had stood against in the run-up to the 2000 presidential election when he challenged George W. Bush, but to which he now has capitulated.

    Too harsh? Then consider just how tight the space is between the rocks of our failed Mideast policy and the hard place of our impending financial disaster. The sudden out-of-control spike in the cost of oil--the key short-term market variable, the specter that stokes inflation fear and limits moves to avoid recession--is not a natural disaster or in any realistic way the result of inefficiency in the use of energy. What more than doubled the price of petroleum in the short run was not that too many of us bought Hummers, but rather that the political stability of the region that contains the bulk of that oil was deliberately and recklessly roiled.

    In the name of fighting the 9/11 terrorists, the Bush administration overthrew the one Arab government most adamantly opposed to the Saudi financiers of that son of their system, Osama bin Laden. Instead of confronting the royal leaders of a kingdom that supplied 15 of the 19 hijackers, we invaded a nation that supplied not a single one. While Bush overthrew Saddam Hussein, who had no ties to the hijackers, he embraced the leaders of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the only three nations in the world that had diplomatically recognized and supported the Taliban sponsors of al-Qaida.

    Consider that historical marker at a time when the UAE and Saudi Arabia bankers are buying major positions in distressed U.S. financial and other key corporate institutions. I know, it all sounds too conspiratorial, like imagining that we might wake up from this national nightmare and discover that the CEO of Halliburton, who replaced Dick Cheney when the latter selected himself to be Bush's vice president, now has his headquarters in Dubai, tucked safely into the obscenely oil-revenue-rich UAE that our troops were sent to Iraq to protect.

    There is no national outrage, or even seriously sustained media interest, over the fact that Cheney's old company profited enormously from ripping off U.S. tax dollars going into the Iraq occupation. Nor is there even much curiosity about the shenanigans of Halliburton, which is doing business with Arab oil sheiks at a time when the U.S. banks these Middle Eastern oil interests bought into are moving to foreclose on American homeowners.

    It's just the sort of egregious betrayal of the trust of the taxpayers that Sen. McCain would have gone after, before he sought to don the soiled robes of the Bush presidency.

    A soiled old man seeking the soiled robe of a soiled presidency.

  65. Oil prices streaked into new record territory for the second straight day Wednesday, boosted by a decline in US energy reserves and as the weakening dollar drew investments in commodities.

    New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, crossed 115 dollars a barrel for the first time on its way to an intraday record high of 115.07. It settled up 1.14 dollars at a record close of 114.93 dollars.

    In London, Brent North Sea crude for June struck an intraday record high of 112.79 dollars a barrel before closing at a record 112.66 dollars, a gain of 1.08 dollars.

    Both futures contracts had hit record highs Tuesday during trading and at the close as the market worried about tight supplies.

    Those concerns were brought to the boil Wednesday by the weekly report from the US Department of Energy (DoE) that showed US energy stockpiles tumbled in the week ending April 11.

    US crude inventories slumped by 2.3 million barrels last week compared with analysts' consensus forecast for a drop of 1.8 million.

    US crude stocks now stand at 313.7 million barrels, in the lower half of the average range for this time of year, the department said.

    "The crude import data showed little sign of recovering after last week's steep decline," said Eric Wittenauer, an analyst at AG Edwards.

    The DoE said that gasoline stocks fell by 5.5 million barrels, considerably more than market expectations for a fall of 1.8 million barrels, while distillate stocks such as heating fuel and diesel rose by 100,000 barrels, against predictions for a 1.5 million barrel decline.

    Thus the continuing trend toward the Bush-McCain Depression.

  66. Enigma, you dont need to apologize for a thing, Rusty and all his alias's is nothing more than a Reich wing goon that has been infecting Lydia's blog spouting mindless Reich Wing talking points, lies and character assassinations and insulting and attacking the regular bloggers to drive them away........."IT" doesnt deserve a voice, all "IT" deserves is to be deleted and adds NOTHING to the discussion and it clearly KNOWS it is not welcome nor respected.

  67. A suicide bomber struck the funeral of two anti-al-Qaida Sunni tribesmen in a town north of Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 45 people, police said.

    The blast was the latest attack in Iraq's Sunni areas after a period of relative calm that was broken this week, raising concerns that Sunni insurgents are reorganizing.

    Over the past months, violence has dropped with the increase in U.S. troops and the growth of so-called Awakening Councils, groups of Sunni tribesmen who joined American forces in fighting al-Qaida-linked militants.

    The suicide bomber detonated his explosives in the town of Albu Mohammed, 90 miles north of Baghdad, during the funeral of two brothers who belonged to the local Awakening Council. The brothers were slain a day earlier, police in the nearby city of Kirkuk said.

    At least 45 people were killed in the blast, the police officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media. The blast was the single deadliest attack since March 6, when a bombing in central Baghdad killed 68.

    Thursday's attack came on the heels of a string of suicide attacks on Tuesday that killed 60 people in four major cities in central and northern Iraq.

  68. AFL-CIO’s John J. Sweeney Fears “an American Nightmare!”

    John J. Sweeney

    “Labor can not stand still. It must not retreat. It must go on, or go under.” - Harry Bridges

    Baltimore, MD - On April 8, 2008, the President of the AFL-CIO, John J. Sweeney spoke at the U. of Baltimore Law School, as part of its inaugural “Leaders in Labor” lecture series. He said that, as he travels around the country, he finds more and more people are “worried to death about the economy and tired of spending too many hours on the job for too little pay.” Mr. Sweeney underscored that the folks he has been speaking with “are distrustful of government and....see the American dream as a fading hope.” He said: “If we don’t take control, we will all be living out different versions of the American nightmare.” Mr. Sweeney emphasized: “Our country is headed in the wrong direction!”

    A native of the Bronx, New York, Mr. Sweeney spoke to the audience about the influence his immigrant Irish parents, his Catholic education and union experiences had on him as a young man. He told how his father had worked as a bus driver out of Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union, then headed by the legendary Mike Quill. Mr. Sweeney recounted: “I grew up going to union meetings with my father and getting involved at a very young age in so many different activities as a volunteer.” At Iona College, he said he learned from the Brothers, [Congregation of Christian Brothers], “that economic and social justice are the goals we must all fight for, and that is what drew me into the Labor Movement.”

    Before he delivered his prepared remarks, Mr. Sweeney lashed out at the pending U. S. Free Trade agreement with Columbia. (The AFL-CIO is strongly opposed to the measure). (1) Mr. Sweeney expressed his concerns about the gross “human rights” violations in that country, the threatened status of its unions, and the “murders” of those fighting for workers’ rights. At press time, it was revealed that former President Bill Clinton has received over “$800,000 in speaking fees” from a group that advocates a Free Trade pact with Columbia. As President, Bill Clinton was a willing shill for the GATT, NAFTA, CAFTA pushers, which led to the out sourcing of millions of middle class jobs. As a result of all the negative publicity over this issue, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) was forced to come out against any deal with Columbia. (2)

    Mr. Sweeney said that the U.S. has been headed in the wrong direction “for more than 30 years. Workers’ productivity has increased by about 75 percent, but workers’ wages are frozen right where they were in 1973.”

    Some pundits believe that one of the turning points in the ongoing saga of Labor was in 1981, when President Ronald Reagan crushed the striking Professional Air Traffic Controllers (PATC0) workers. If Labor would have then taken a strong stand against Reagan--an arch pimp for Deregulation--including using the full arsenal of its power, it’s possible the country wouldn’t be in the sad predicament it is in today. (3) But, Labor didn’t take a stand. And, things have just gotten worse, with the fox taking over the chicken coop.

    “Last year,” Mr. Sweeney continued, “even household income declined and many families had to draw down equity in their homes to make ends meet exacerbating our housing and credit crisis. Where did all the dough go? It went into swollen corporate profits and skyrocketing CEO’s salaries, while the pocketbooks of the middle class and the poor were pinched. Several years back, one of our most prominent economists called it, ‘the greatest transfer of wealth without a revolution in history.’” Meanwhile, according to a 2004 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study, “61 percent of U.S. corporation paid no taxes.”

    The AFL-CIO is a federation of 56 national and international labor unions, headquartered in Washington, D.C. Mr. Sweeney has been its chief executive since 1995. He was formerly the president of the SEIU. The SEIU is a public service workers union with 1.9 million members. (4) It is supporting Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) for president. Its current leader, Andy Stern, led the SEIU out of the AFL-CIO federation back in 2005, in a heated dispute with Mr. Sweeney over policy. Also leaving the big tent, were the Teamsters, headed by James P. Hoffa, the son of the late Jimmy Hoffa. (5) The AFL-CIO currently has about 13 million members, which is about the same total it had in 1970. It has yet to announce its endorsement for president. I was shocked when Mr. Sweeney said that “twenty-five percent” of his members are Republicans.

    “On Bush’s [President George W. Bush] watch,” Mr. Sweeney said, “poverty had increased 25 percent, the price of gasoline has risen from $1 a gallon to $3 a gallon, and it is sure to make it to $4--a price our president wasn’t able to comprehend. Now, our nation is almost as squeezed as working families themselves. [It has been] financing tax breaks for the wealthy and a war that is costing $12 billion a month, yet neglecting the priorities of our people.”

    Continuing Mr. Sweeney asserted: “Nowhere is the damage to our society more evident than in health care. And the threat to our country and to our way of life is so big and so dangerous, that it compels us to work together with great urgency.” Citing all of the damning statistics, he added: “Health care should be a right.”

    There are a lot of fine activists in the AFL-CIO at the federal, state and local levels. One of them was in the audience listening to Mr. Sweeney’s talk. I’m referring to Fred Mason, President of the MD/DC’s AFL-CIO. He has been a strong opponent of the Iraq War and a regular speaker at Peace rallies in the D.C. area. Mr. Mason was recently on the picket line, in Baltimore, MD, supporting the then-striking members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA). (6)

    On another Labor front, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) plans to “shut down” all the West coast ports on May 1, 2008, to demonstrate its moral outrage and opposition to the U.S. wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. (7) I’m not surprised to note that Local 10 of the ILWU, based in San Francisco, is leading this charge. (8) Local 10 represents all the finest qualities of what a progressive union should look like in the Age of Bush and Cheney. It would surely please the ghost of the great Harry Bridges, one of the founders of the ILWU, to see Messrs. Sweeney, Stern and Hoffa, and other Labor chieftains, as well, on that picket line, on May 1st.

    As for Labor itself, its story over the years reminds me in some ways of the tragic history of Native Americans and their bitter struggle against the early English settlers in this country. In the beginning, the Native American leaders thought they had time on their side and that they could easily, at their choosing, defeat the settler movement. They were wrong! The longer they waited to strike a decisive blow, the stronger the settlers became and the weaker their position grew, particularly in the region of the Chesapeake Bay. (9) Tribal rivalries also permitted the settlers to play one group off against another. In the end, the Native Americans lost and they paid a horrific price for their failed strategy. Will that eventually be the fate of Labor, too? Its past tendencies towards divisive splits, which has allowed the globalist schemers to dominate the playing field, doesn’t speak well about its future. Stay tuned.

    Finally, Mr. Sweeney said there has been a “calculated war on workers” by corporate America for nearly 30 years. He insisted that this year, in the November election, “we have an opportunity to reverse these awful trends.” (10)

  69. McCain Shows Us How to Kill an Army

    By Sara Robinson

    John McCain, who from the early 1980s worked hard to establish himself as one of the Senate's shining champions of Vietnam veterans' issues, completed his betrayal of the Iraq-era troops today. Brandon Friedman of has the details:

    Yesterday delivered a petition with 30,000 signatures to the office of Sen. John McCain. Through that petition, we asked him to support Sen. Jim Webb's new GI Bill. And less than 24 hours later, we have an answer:

    "Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, seemed to give a thumbs down to bipartisan legislation that would greatly expand educational benefits for members of the military returning from Iraq and Afghanistan under the GI Bill ..."

    The reason for McCain's refusal to support the bill is about the most disturbing rationale one could imagine. ... Officials in charge of Pentagon personnel worry that a more generous and expansive GI Bill would create an incentive for troops to get out of the military and go to college.

    Friedman observes that McCain's no-college-for-grunts position essentially says to the troops: "Thanks for your service and your three combat tours in five years. Now get back to work."

    Jim Webb has been trying to update the GI Bill to restore its original intention -- which was to reward returning vets for their service by giving them a full education, lifetime healthcare, and the foundations on which to build a comfortable and successful civilian life. But, says Friedman, the Cons have apparently abandoned that noble goal. And in doing so, they're unveiling an entirely different vision of our troops' future relationship to the rest of America.

    McCain makes it clear that he wants to make the GI Bill so weak and useless that troops will have no choice but to stay in the military for life. Friedman argues persuasively that this is not only a breach of a sacred trust Americans have upheld with their troops for over 60 years; it's also a slap in the face to military recruiters, who ask families to give up their children to the war machine -- and now have nothing compelling to offer them in return. And in the long run, it ensures that the military will become the career of last resort for those who have no other options. Reading this, it strikes me that, as usual, the conservatives aren't being nearly careful enough about what they wish for. In fact, it's not hard at all to imagine a scenario in which this new relationship to our military -- which forsakes the last vestiges of America's traditional civilian militias and creates a new class of involuntarily indentured permanent soldiers -- creates far-flung changes that may undermine the stability of our democracy.

    How we got here

    The GI Bill is recent -- but the deal it represents is as old as history. It's one of the great recurring patterns: in most times and places, the best way for a young man full of brains and ambition but short on money and connections to move up in the world was to join the military and distinguish himself. (The other typical mobility paths were to become a teacher, scholar, or priest.) It was a huge risk: the odds of becoming a combat hero and rising to the officers' ranks were slim compared to those of coming home crippled -- or not coming home at all. But the potential upside was equally enormous. If you wanted to get off the farm, marry well and launch yourself into the ownership class, becoming a war hero has usually been your best way out.

    With the GI Bill, America democratized this ancient deal. It guaranteed that same shot at a solid middle-class life to everyone who signed up and did their tour, regardless of what their service entailed (and, in doing so, also somewhat reduced the incentive for ambitious soldiers to secure their civilian futures by instigating unnecessary battles. Combat hero or clerk typist, you were part of the effort, and you'd still get yours.). In a country that had usually resisted the very idea of raising a standing army, the GI Bill fostered the new post-war military industrial complex by normalizing military service. It was the deal that allowed families to send their sons (and later, their daughters) off in the belief that the military would open the doors to a better life. It was also the sugar that -- for a while, anyway -- took some of the bitterness from universal conscription.

    Generous GI benefits became even more important in the aftermath of Vietnam, as the country abandoned the draft in favor of an all-volunteer army. The country's war hawks approved of this move: The Vietnam-era draft had touched every family in America regardless of class; and it was the middle and upper-middle classes' unwillingness to consent to that sacrifice that had so forcefully politicized the war. A military comprising troops who'd voluntarily agreed to be there would not only be easier to discipline and manage; they'd be much easier to deploy without creating major political upheavals.

    The brass also knew from the start that going all-volunteer would increase the class divisions in the military. The bulk of those new recruits -- both noncoms and officers -- would be kids from working-class families looking for a shot at college. As the conservatives cut back on government-backed college grants and loans, the GI Bill and ROTC would step up to become the country's new college-aid programs. Given that this realignment happened alongside the retooling of a new high-tech military that required an extremely skilled and disciplined corps to function, this new model wouldn't work -- couldn't work -- unless the benefits and working conditions were good enough to attract a huge flow of smart, stable, high-quality volunteers.

    Predictably, the number of volunteers has fallen off markedly in the Bush era, as the war has dramatically raised the risks associated with service, and the promised benefits have vanished. Working-class kids may not have many prospects left; but they can do the math, and they're staying away in droves. To keep the warm bodies coming, the military has begun to compromise on quality. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the number of new recruits coming in on conduct waivers is up. So is the number of convicted felons, gang members, avowed racists and people with substance abuse problems. The military is increasingly turning a blind eye to soldier misconduct, because it can't afford to lose the boots -- so racist activity, rape, and other criminal acts are going largely unpunished.

    Maybe McCain figures that this new crop of kids isn't all that interested in college anyway. Maybe he's decided that down here, with the bottom of the barrel coming into sight, we're getting the kids for whom the military isn't a ticket to college, or a way out of anything. It's just a better alternative than a lifetime of unemployment -- or worse, cycling in and out of jail. And maybe he's being a realist about that. It's certainly where we seem to be headed.

    But we don't have to go there. And if we think this all the way through, we'll do whatever it takes not to go there. Because if McCain is serious about stripping away the barest promise of benefits and turning America's high-tech army into a dumping ground for the country's undereducated, precriminal, behaviorally unstable and economically desperate -- then there's another possible future looming, and it's the stuff of our worst nightmares.

    What lies ahead

    What follows is a scenario -- a little concatenation of what-if stories about what could happen if America breaks its historical pact of guaranteeing education, healthcare, and a middle-class future to its service men and women. It's not a prediction. It's just a look at some of the ways McCain's new view of what we owe our troops could play out if we don't change course.

    Inside the military

    As kids with any kind of prospects at all flee from recruiters who have nothing left to offer them, the sliding standards of the past few years become a fast tumble to the bottom. Soon, America's military is nothing more than the employer of last resort. It's society's dumping ground for people with inadequate education, drug problems, criminal records, and unaddressed behavior issues -- people who can't even hold down McJobs and for whom going to war and getting shot at is a marginally better choice to going to jail and getting knifed.

    What happens from here is a scene from The Dirty Dozen -- or the last years of Vietnam -- writ large. Faced with battalions of armed misfits -- including a large number of sociopaths for whom punishment is meaningless -- officers can't hold down the fort. The result is anarchy, followed by the rise of internal drug-running gangs, racist militias, God squads of fundamentalist holy warriors, and other assorted warlords. (Some of these have close ties to existing civilian organizations such as prison gangs, white supremacist militias and far-right dominionist groups -- as if any of these groups need to have their own government-trained army units.) Unit cohesion fails as these groups go freelance and compete for control of military resources. Fragging becomes common; and good officers become much harder to find. (Anybody with a college education will find something better and safer to do.) The goal of teaching them useful civilian life skills is quickly abandoned.

    In the name of American foreign policy, these troops are exported to other countries, where they set up operations abroad -- thus bringing America's worst authoritarians to the the world's least stable corners, and giving them a prime government-subsidized opportunity to go global.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

    Of course, the intended goal of this system is to keep recruits inside it until they're too old to do much damage. Once they do get out, though, the results look like another movie -- and this time, it's The Godfather.

    Since these veterans have no connection to the larger culture -- and no way of getting the education that will outfit them for anything else besides war -- they have every incentive to organize themselves into civilian subsidiaries of the military gangs that sustained them. They get jobs as mercenaries working abroad for private armies and cartels. Or they come home and set up local outposts of this emerging global Mafia. Soon, city and state governments are dealing with a far bigger gang problem than they've ever seen before and are completely unprepared to confront. Turf battles -- or holy wars -- erupt between the race- and religion-based gangs. In some towns, the gangs muscle out small businesses, start up extortion rackets, run their own candidates and seize control of local politics. They also infiltrate whatever legitimate institutions will have them -- just as the Mafia took over unions and the construction trades on the East Coast so long ago. Modern prison gangs are small mom-and-pop operations compared to the vast global criminal network that could arise in time.

    This sounds far-fetched, but it's the historical way of armies gone bad. When you have combat-hardened warriors who have no place in the civilian world -- and governments that feel no further responsibility to the troops that risked their lives to defend them -- they will make a place for themselves. And that place will usually be well beyond the reach of government.

    The citizens respond:

    There are several ways Americans might respond to the broken-down military that results from the boneheaded decision to abandon the covenant represented by the GI Bill. Let's look at the best case, the worst case, and the most likely case.

    The best case is that Americans quickly realize that the military culture is fusing with the prison-based gang culture and that the combined forces are threatening the foundations of the country. Driving this case is the fact is that we don't generally fund government programs that only benefit people without political power. (That's why it's so important that even the rich get Social Security, and why the upper classes need to keep their kids in public schools.) As long as the most politically influential people see that these things benefit them, they'll support them. As soon as these programs look like they're just for the lower classes, the political will to sustain them vanishes.

    Turning the military into a dumping ground for the unwanted underclass (not to mention a vast channel through which taxpayer dollars are funneled to organized crime) devalues it socially and politically. Nice people won't send their kids there, any more than they'd voluntarily send them to prison for three or four years. Nobody with any brains will want to become an officer, either. And when the blowback from this long-term neglect begins washing up on the tree-lined streets of America's suburbs, there could be strong political pressure to defund the military, reform it, or abolish a standing army entirely.

    The worst case is that we don't act in time, and the gangs simply take over. The government is overwhelmed or corrupted. Democracy fails, along with domestic order. Security is in the hands of local strongmen. If that's the way it goes, the story begins to look like something out of Mad Max, and it will take nothing short of a violent patriot uprising to eliminate the gangs and take back the country. (And the bad news is: They have all the weapons and know how to use them.)

    This scenario is scary. And it should be. Worst-case scenarios aren't fun for me to write, not least because they can so easily become grim and over the top. What I find most frightening about this one is that you don't have to be a futurist to see its plausibility; you just have to have read some history. Broken-down armies that come home and take it out on the home folks are as common as dirt. They're stock characters in the stories where revolutions begin and empires end. But we need to be aware that this could very easily happen to us -- and blowing off our commitment to the troops could be the first tangible step down that road.

    The most likely case is that we come to our senses in time and realize that the GI Bill is not entitlement, not a privilege, and not a handout. It's what we owe our troops for their service. It's fulfilling our basic obligation to return them safely and sanely to civilian life, and to give them a fair stake in the country's free and democratic future. And as long as we choose to maintain a standing army and act as an empire, it's an essential investment in our own domestic peace, security, and political stability that we cannot afford to scrimp on. If we think the price is too high, then we should reconsider whether we want to be an empire. But as long as we commission soldiers, defaulting on this debt is not an option.

    No one who is willing to tear up that ancient contract between a nation and its veterans, and thus consign our nation's defense to people so dangerously incompetent that Wal-Mart won't even hire them, should ever be this country's commander in chief. And McCain, of all people, should understand that better than anyone. It's a shame that, after all these years building his career on the backs of veterans, he still doesn't understand what's at stake.


    High Unemployment and High Inflation Make This Recession Different

    BY Ted Rall

    "Why is this recession different from almost all other recessions?" asked Herbert Barchoff. The economist, a former president of the Council of Economic Advisers, answered his own question: "This is not only the usual cyclical recession, but also a structural recession."

    Barchoff's dark assessment appeared in a letter to the editor of The New York Times---in June 1992. Then, like now, Americans were suffering through a long, grinding recession following a boom (under Reagan) that had primarily benefited the wealthy. There were mass layoffs. The real estate market had collapsed. Foreclosures were rampant.

    George H.W. Bush, who had expected to coast to reelection on the strength of his near 90 percent post-Gulf War approval ratings, projected a Herbert Hoover-like resolve to not lift a finger to alleviate the misery. The Federal Reserve cut interest rates, but it didn't help. Six months later, angry voters fired an out-of-touch president who seemed unwilling to fix an economy he didn't think was broken in favor of a guy who claimed to feel our pain.

    Barchoff, it would turn out, was too pessimistic. "To reverse the excesses of the 1980's," he wrote, "restructuring has been going on in massive proportions at every level. It is a rare day that newspapers do not report layoffs, often in the thousands in the industrial sector." What Barchoff didn't know--few people did--was that the U.S. was about to begin the longest, broadest and biggest period of economic expansion experienced by any civilization in human history.

    Downsizing continued in traditional sectors like manufacturing and newspapers. Even during the Clinton boom, millions of people were ruined, forced to declare bankruptcy. Midwestern cities were reduced to rusted-out shells. But none of that mattered to Wall Street. The Internet revolution prompted so much capital investment, and generated so many new jobs--freshly minted college grads thought it perfectly normal to earn $85,000 moving around lines of HTML--that otherwise sane people began talking about a "new paradigm" in which "the old rules no longer apply."

    In other respects, however, Barchoff was prescient. "[The then-new European Community] will substantially hurt our ability to be competitive," he correctly predicted. "The drop in interest rates is no solution. During the Great Depression the prime rate went to one percent, with no cure. When you are out of work or afraid of losing your job, you do not take on debt. Nor will entrepreneurs borrow even very cheap money unless there is a market."

    The Bush Sr. recession was a grim affair. When I graduated from Columbia in 1991, the university canceled its annual jobs fair due to employers' lack of interest. But it was a picnic compared to what we're facing now. Bush Jr. could finally realize Barchoff's nightmare of a structural recession--the kind of no-way-out shock experienced by Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    "Normal" cyclical recessions feature increased unemployment, which puts downward pressure on prices. You rarely see high unemployment and high inflation at the same time. Conservative economists point to rising inflation during the late 1970s as an exception, but that wasn't even a downturn, much less a recession. Inflation was high but unemployment was low. Anyway, the inflation didn't hurt workers; during the Carter years mean wages rose faster than inflation. The opposite is true now. Real income is falling.

    The economy has bled 3.1 million jobs since George W. Bush assumed the presidency in 2001, the worst record since the Depression. The official unemployment rate, constantly re-jiggered to make the economy appear more robust, has risen to 5.1 percent. The long-term unemployment rate, which includes people who have had such bad luck looking for work that they've given up entirely, has doubled, to over 13 percent.

    Meanwhile, inflation is approaching seven percent. Again, that's the official inflation rate. Your mileage as an average American--who spends a third of your pay on housing and more and more on gas--will vary. But let's not dwell on the irony of $4-a-gallon gas resulting from a war fought to steal oil.

    But wait. There's even more bad news.

    Two-thirds of economic activity is generated by consumer spending. Most people are broke. So much for that two-thirds. "In 2000," reports David Leonhardt in The Times, "at the end of the last economic expansion, the median family made about $61,000, according to the Census Bureau's inflation-adjusted numbers. In 2007, in what looks to have been the final year of the most recent expansion, the median family, amazingly, seems to have made less--about $60,500."

    This, says, Leonhardt, is a big deal. "This has never happened before, at least not for as long as the government has been keeping records." RBC Capital Markets reports that consumer confidence has fallen below 30 percent, an all-time record low. T.J. Marta, a fixed-income strategist at RBC, said: "What confidence? There is no confidence. It's like 1929."

    If Barchoff had picked up a copy of the San Jose Mercury-News in 1992, he would have read about the birth of the Web revolution, then touted as the "information superhighway." But there's nothing like that coming down the pike today. To paraphrase the ever-quotable Donald Rumsfeld, we're going to have to make do with the economy we have, not the one we wish we had.

    Liberal economists like Paul Krugman suggest a rerun of the 1930s, when FDR's New Deal employed millions to build new infrastructure like dams and bridges. But none of the three remaining presidential contenders is likely to undertake such a thing. "The worst-case scenario" about the 1991 war against Iraq, Barchoff said in 1992, would have been if it had lasted two years and cost an extra $200 billion. Iraq War II, now in its sixth year, is currently pegged at an estimated $3 trillion. Republican John McCain is committed to pouring more trillions into Iraq War II until victory is achieved, i.e., forever. As Democrats wary of being tarnished with the label of "big spender," both Obama and Clinton will likely place fiscal discipline ahead of expansive new government programs.

    There is no short-term fix. In the long term, we must put more money into more people's pockets. That means higher wages and lower taxes for the poor and middle class. Some of what is needed is easy to see: a more progressive tax code, repealing laws that allow employers to harass and fire those who try to organize unions, nationalizing industries run by vampire capitalists--health insurers, private hospitals, colleges and universities. Banks encourage predatory lending while stifling saving. They ought to be re-regulated. What madness permits them to charge 30 percent on credit cards while paying one percent on passbook savings accounts?

    More--much more--is necessary to prevent the wholesale collapse of the U.S. economic system. A maximum wage should be imposed--the highest paid American should earn no more than ten times the lowest paid. I know, I know--none of this will happen. There will be nothing but Band-Aids and lazy rhetoric as we plummet into the abyss. It cannot be otherwise, for our politics are ossified, the media is corporatized, and we the people are dull and apathetic.

  71. Hey all..
    I have blogged about the debate debacle last night- and Posted ALL the ABC Contacts- it is up to us to hold the MSM accountable- we deserved a debate about ISSUES...REAL issues, and instead we had to watch Obama be ambushed about things like the FLAG PIN? unreal...

    Larry thanks for the "news" ( you always do a good round up- even when it isn't good...sad to say ;-(

    Mike - thanks for what you said..

    Hey Lydia.....we the people will all keep working hard to Make Change Happen...Have Hope...

  72. Larry, our economy is like a pyramid on which the capstone has become so heavy that is crushing the base. The last time income inequality in this nation approached present levels was in 1929. Need I say more?

  73. Why after 6 1/2 years is this still not surprising;

    Why after the posing and posturing, photo ops and skull drudgery to gut the US Constitution and Geneva Conventions,

    Is this the best he has come up with;

    GAO: Bush Still Has No Strategy For Bin Laden

    The Bush administration doesn't have a comprehensive strategy for eliminating Osama bin Laden's sanctuary in Pakistan's tribal region and preventing the region from being used for launching terrorist attacks on the United States, the investigative arm of Congress said Thursday.

    President Bush and his senior lieutenants frequently claim that eradicating the threat that bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network poses to United States and its allies is their top national-security priority.

    But in a scathing report, the Government Accountability Office said there was no plan that "includes all elements of national power — diplomatic, military, intelligence, development assistance, economic and law enforcement support — called for by the various national-security strategies and Congress."

    NADA, no plan, just speeches, photo ops and GOPer spin, but NO real plan to get Bin Forgotten because George W Bush really isn't concerned about him .....

    Six and a half years and Bin Forgotten is still laughing his ass off at Bush.

    Tell me again just how strong on national security the bed wetting gutless chicken hawks of the GOP really are?

  74. Osama is undoubtedly getting ready to serve as McCavein's campaign manager, just like he served as Chimpy's back in 2004. They CAN'T kill him, because he's the only thing the wingtards have got. Without the fear factor, the Republican Party will shrivel up and die, since Klanservatism is only good in fringe situations.

  75. enigma4ever said...
    Just to Be Really Clear.
    I have Deleted YOUR Comments 15 Times tonight on my Blog.

    We delete Rusty's mouthcraps here too Enigma.

  76. thank you Bartle...that is good to know...Clif and LarryI am still catching up on reading....guess there is Not much good news.....

  77. Well, the economy that the Redumblicans, "dubbledum" and Herr Cheney finally admit has "slowed down" has hit home. Direct TV laid off my brother from their corporate office in Denver.

  78. MCH : I am sorry about your brother being laid off- these are not good all....for anyone...but I am glad that ABC debated the Lapel Pin- I have been sooooo worried...honestly...

    I hope he finds Something ....Better ...real soon...


    Binyamin Netanyahu of the Likud party says that 9/11 was good for Israel.

    The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv on Wednesday reported that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel.

    "We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq," Ma'ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events "swung American public opinion in our favor."

    ahhhh finally ....... a Israeli right winger admits he thinks Israel owes Bin Forgotten a thank you note for 9-11.

    I wonder where the reichwing out rage is?

    I wonder why faux noise isn't attacking HIM like they attacked Jimmy carter for trying to resolve the intractable conundrum which Israel has created in the middle east.

    One more thing, if Israel is making out so wonderfully from the tragedies Americans have suffered, how about the Israelis start PAYING for it, and RETURN the billions we send them every year?

    I wonder why the reichwing doesn't admit they wanted to attack Iraq all along and hijacked the fears and anger of the American people after the worst terroristic attack to do it.

  80. The public's ratings of the national economy continue to sour, with assessments deteriorating faster than at any point in Washington Post-ABC News polling. Views on the Iraq war have also turned more negative, with six in 10 now rejecting the notion that the United States needs to win there to effectively battle terrorism.

    Public's View of Economy Takes Fast Turn Downward

    Washington Post-ABC News Poll
    The economy and the Iraq war are the top two issues on voters' minds, according to the new Post-ABC poll, and worsening opinions of both may dampen GOP hopes for the November elections.

    Nine in 10 Americans now give the economy a negative rating, with a majority saying it is in "poor" shape, the most to say so in more than 15 years. And the sense that things are bad has spread swiftly. The percentage who hold a negative view of the economy is up 33 points over the past year, and the percentage who rate the economy "poor" has increased 13 points in the past two months. That is the quickest 60-day decline since The Post and ABC started asking the question, in 1985.

    Views of the Iraq war have dipped as well. Now, more than six in 10 say that the conflict is not integral to the success of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts. That is the most people to reject what is one of the Bush administration's central contentions and a core part of presumed GOP presidential nominee John McCain's stand on the issue.

    And for the first time since President Bush ordered additional troops to Iraq early last year, the number of Americans saying the United States is not making significant progress toward restoring civil order there has risen. Negative views of the war had eased steadily from late 2006 through early March of this year, but 57 percent in the new poll said efforts in Iraq have stalled, up six points.

    Moreover, while Bush remains committed to keeping more than 100,000 U.S. troops in Iraq through the rest of his presidency, 56 percent of Americans say the United States should withdraw its military forces to avoid further casualties. This has been the majority view since January 2007.

    On several measures, the poll finds Republicans inching away from support for the war. Among them, a sense that progress in Iraq has stalled has increased 13 points from early March, and the percentages who prefer withdrawing troops over risking more casualties (30 percent) and who think that the battle against terrorism can be a success without victory in Iraq (39 percent) are each at new highs.

    The percentages of Democrats and independents advocating withdrawal and seeing Iraq as distinct from the U.S. terrorism fight are also at or near high marks. And three-quarters of Democrats and nearly six in 10 independents do not see significant progress in Iraq.

    But Bush and McCain still love war and hate people.

  81. Did Joe Scarborough walk out of David Gregory's show "Race to the White House" Thursday night on MSNBC? It seems that way by the video below. Joe was a panelist on the show along with Air America's Rachel Maddow, CNBC's John Harwood and former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, Jr.

    The panel was discussing the effect of Sen. Obama's personal and professional relationships on his campaign when Rachel and Joe disagreed. Joe started to challenge Rachel's argument that relationships only become an issue when a political opponent makes them an issue, but she cut him off, "Let me make my point and then you can dismiss me." She then finished with an example of a McCain campaign co-chair in Florida's bathroom activities.

    After a commercial break, Joe prefaced his rebuttal to Rachel's point by saying "I don't engage in Crossfire-type debates and certainly I don't want to talk about what people do in bathrooms." When he finished speaking, and after David Gregory had shut Joe vs. Rachel down, John Harrow came on camera. Then, viewers can hear Joe taking off his microphone (2:47 into the below video). When the panel picture came back, no Joe.

    Poor little whining neocon.

  82. For those of you hoping that foreclosure crises has hit bottom, we've got some bad news. A new report released by the The Pew Charitable Trusts says that 1 in 33 homeowners is expected to be in foreclosure over the next two years, due primarily to subprime mortgages made in 2005 and 2006.

    The report goes into detail about how each of the states is dealing with the mortgage meltdown. Everyone is affected, even those without risky mortgages.

    More than 40.6 million homes across America are projected to lose value because of subprime foreclosures in their communities, and foreclosures may cost neighboring properties up to $356 billion in home value over the next couple of years, says the report. Also sobering is the news that foreclosure starts involving prime adjustable-rate mortgages increased 158 percent in one year.

    What a wonderful world Bush has created.

  83. Wall Street investment bank Merrill Lynch reported Thursday a first-quarter loss of nearly two billion dollars due to massive writedowns, and said it would slash 10 percent of its workforce.

    The company said the net loss in the first three months of the year was 1.96 billion dollars, compared with net profit of 2.16 billion in the 2007 first quarter.

    Earnings per share were 2.19 dollars, sharply higher than analysts' consensus forecast of 1.99 dollars.

    Revenue for the quarter ending March 28 fell to 2.93 billion dollars from last year's 9.6 billion, primarily because of approximately nine billion dollars in asset writedowns.

    Of those, 1.5 billion dollars were written off in US asset-backed securities linked to the mortgage crisis, nearly one billion on investment fund loans and three billion linked to municipal bond insurers.

    Merrill Lynch said it plans to cut its workforce by 4,000 employees, or 10 percent, from year-end 2007 levels.

    What a wonderful world Bush has created.

  84. Retail gas prices pushed past a record high $3.40 a gallon Thursday, fulfilling expectations that they’ll keep climbing toward $4 as the summer driving season approaches.

    What a wonderful world Bush has given us.

  85. Also sobering is the news that foreclosure starts involving prime adjustable-rate mortgages increased 158 percent in one year.

    THIS is why we have a housing implosion. The greedy sh*tbags who wrote these loans made the terms impossible for the homeowners to adjust to them. I will remind you that McCavein and Chimpy are still blaming the homeowners for getting into this mess.

    Some of you lived in the early 1980s, when the ARM first came on the scene. Back then, the ARM reacted to the prevailing interest rate. I respectfully submit to you that nobody in their right minds could IMAGINE that these greedy bastards would have jacked the interest rates up the way they did, because not even loansharks operate that way. The simple fact of the matter is that it isn't homeowners who are to blame here; it's The Bush Economic Miracle and Chimpy-sanctioned unreasonable greed that brought this crisis home to us. The homeowners are the ONLY group that deserve to be helped, and they are the ONLY group where help given will make a difference to the American economy. The stupid wingtards who whine about "irresponsible" borrowers have almost nothing to say about the insanity of house payments that more than doubled in the space of a year. But really, why would they? We know how the wingtards feel about the average schmuck, don't we?

  86. clif said...

    Binyamin Netanyahu of the Likud party says that 9/11 was good for Israel.

    The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv on Wednesday reported that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel.

    "We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq," Ma'ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events "swung American public opinion in our favor."

    ahhhh finally ....... a Israeli right winger admits he thinks Israel owes Bin Forgotten a thank you note for 9-11.

    I wonder where the reichwing out rage is?

    I wonder why faux noise isn't attacking HIM like they attacked Jimmy carter for trying to resolve the intractable conundrum which Israel has created in the middle east.

    One more thing, if Israel is making out so wonderfully from the tragedies Americans have suffered, how about the Israelis start PAYING for it, and RETURN the billions we send them every year?

    I wonder why the reichwing doesn't admit they wanted to attack Iraq all along and hijacked the fears and anger of the American people after the worst terroristic attack to do it."

    GREAT POST CLIF......................I wonder why the Orwelian Jo McCarthy Fascist Reich Wing attack machine (Faux News) isnt attacking Netinyahoo as "Antiamerican" and saying He "Hates America"...............most likely because they only save that Nazi type demogogery for smearing their opponents and fear mongering and Netinyahu is a fellow traveler with the war mongering Neo Cons.................Birds of a feather Aye?

  87. CHICKENHAWKS of a YELLOW feather is more like it.

  88. Clif raised a good point though, if Rev Wright had said what Netinyahoo had that 9/11 was beneficial and good for his interests he would have been lynched and tarred and feathered by the Reich Wing attack machine (Faux News) and their phony patriotism and nationalism.............Yet Netinyahoo doesnt merit a word of criticism from the hippocritical self serving demogogues.

  89. Jolly Roger said "The homeowners are the ONLY group that deserve to be helped, and they are the ONLY group where help given will make a difference to the American economy. The stupid wingtards who whine about "irresponsible" borrowers have almost nothing to say about the insanity of house payments that more than doubled in the space of a year. But really, why would they? We know how the wingtards feel about the average schmuck, don't we?"

    JR, while I strongly agree with the main premise of your argument, and have said so only MANY occasions............the Reich Wing fascists absolutely LOVE welfare and gov bailouts if its for the ultra wealthy and corporate elite rather than the working class and poor......the point where i do disagree is bailing out the homeowners is not the ONLY group that deserves to be helped and will make a difference to our economy.

    Sallie Mae is having a liquidity crisis and could stop offering student not being able to get a decent education directly affects our economic competitiveness and inpacts the creation of decent paying middle class jobs which will continue to be outsourced to lower wage countries if our kids dont have the skills required to compete in the global economy........further we NEED to invest in alternative and renewable energy to create green jobs.

    These 2 things coupled with ending the 3 trillion dollar hemorage that is Iraq are the cornerstones of Obama's campaign,,,,,,,,,While McSame is essential a 3rd Bush term and more Dubya' more Wars, war mongering and welfare for the wealthy!

  90. Anybody watch the dem debates the other night?

    I'm shocked that the left wing media finally got up enough backbone to ask pertinent questions that actually interest the American people.

    I never thought I'd say this but, KUDOS! to ABC.

  91. Rumsfeld ex-aide calls Iraq war 'major debacle' whose outcome is 'in doubt'

    Former senior aide to Rumsfeld delivers scathing indictment

    A 48-page report written by a former aide to Donald Rumsfeld and issued by the Pentagon's premier military educational institute has called the Iraq war a "major debacle" whose outcome is "in doubt."

    "Measured in blood and treasure, the war in Iraq has achieved the status of a major war and a major debacle," the report's opening line reads. "As of fall 2007, this conflict has cost the United States over 3,800 dead and over 28,000 wounded. Allied casualties accounted for another 300 dead."

    Published by the National Defense Institute's National Institute for Strategic Studies, a Defense Department research center, the report does not reflect the official views of the Pentagon or the Defense Department. But it delivers a scathing indictment from the key educational arm of the US Armed Forces.

    The report was written by Joseph Collins, a retired colonel and former senior adviser to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. It's importance cannot be overstated, because it is based in part on interviews on former senior defense and intelligence officials who spoke candidly and played roles in preparations for war.

    "Despite impressive progress in security, the outcome of the war is in doubt," Collins writes. "Strong majorities of both Iraqis and Americans favor some sort of U.S. withdrawal. Intelligence analysts, however, remind us that the only thing worse than an Iraq with an American army may be an Iraq after a rapid withdrawal of that army."

    You can view the original report in PDF here.

    The report released Thursday was barely mentioned by newspapers or media outlets, according to a search at this writing in Google News. It received the heaviest treatment by Jonathan Landay and John Walcott of McClatchy Newspapers.

    Collins writes:

    Iraqi civilian deaths—mostly at the hands of other Iraqis—may number as high as 82,000. Over 7,500 Iraqi soldiers and police officers have also been killed. Fifteen percent of the Iraqi population has become refugees or displaced persons. The Congressional Research Service estimates that the United States now spends over $10 billion per month on the war, and that the total, direct U.S. costs from March 2003 to July 2007 have exceeded $450 billion, all of which has been covered by deficit spending.1 No one as yet has calculated the costs of long-term veterans' benefits or the total impact on Service personnel and materiel.
    The war's political impact also has been great. Globally, U.S. standing among friends and allies has fallen.2 Our status as a moral leader has been damaged by the war, the subsequent occupation of a Muslim nation, and various issues concerning the treatment of detainees. At the same time, operations in Iraq have had a negative impact on all other efforts in the war on terror, which must bow to the priority of Iraq when it comes to manpower, materiel, and the attention of decisionmakers. Our Armed Forces— especially the Army and Marine Corps—have been severely strained by the war in Iraq. Compounding all of these problems, our efforts there were designed to enhance U.S. national security, but they have become, at least temporarily, an incubator for terrorism and have emboldened Iran to expand its influence throughout the Middle East.


    Additional excerpts, as highlighted by Landay and Walcott:

    * Operations in Iraq have diverted "manpower, materiel and the attention of decision-makers" from "all other efforts in the war on terror" and severely strained the U.S. armed forces. "Compounding all of these problems, our efforts there (in Iraq) were designed to enhance U.S. national security, but they have become, at least temporarily, an incubator for terrorism and have emboldened Iran to expand its influence throughout the Middle East."

    * "Despite impressive progress in security, the outcome of the war is in doubt. Strong majorities of both Iraqis and Americans favor some sort of U.S. withdrawal. Intelligence analysts, however, remind us that the only thing worse than an Iraq with an American army may be an Iraq after a rapid withdrawal of that army."

    * "For many analysts (including this one), Iraq remains a 'must win,' but for many others, despite obvious progress under General David Petraeus and the surge, it now looks like a 'can't win.'"

    * " ... the aggressive, hands-on Rumsfeld cajoled and pushed his way toward a small force and a lightning fast operation." Later, he shut down the military's computerized deployment system, "questioning, delaying or deleting units on the numerous deployment orders that came across his desk."

    * In part because "long, costly, manpower-intensive post-combat operations were anathema to Rumsfeld," the report says, the U.S. was unprepared to fight what Collins calls "War B," the battle against insurgents and sectarian violence that began in mid-2003, shortly after "War A," the fight against Saddam Hussein's forces, ended.

    * The report also singles out the Bush administration's national security apparatus and implicitly President Bush and both of his national security advisers, Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley, saying that "senior national security officials exhibited in many instances an imperious attitude, exerting power and pressure where diplomacy and bargaining might have had a better effect."

    * The report ends by quoting Winston Churchill: "Let us learn our lessons. Never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. ... Always remember, however sure you are that you can easily win, that there would not be a war if the other man did not think that he also had a chance."

    Damn he sounds like most of us here and the evil "KOS kids" and :move on traitors" in his assessment of the fiasco in Iraq.

    No wonder why faux noise and the rest of the right wig corporate owned MSM keeps silent on this report by somebody who knows more then they ever will about this fiasco and why it is getting WORSE year by year.

    The wanna talk about cheap jewelry from china and why Obama doesn't mussel people he knows and force them to hold the exact positions faux noise wants them to.

    You know the stupid questions dolty think are MORE important.

  92. and dolty .... ABC is NOT left wing .... they stand directly next to faux noise in the reichwing corporate owned bozos line .....

  93. Dolty this is the best description of the crap fest ABC ran I have seen.

  94. Interesting how the hippocritical Reich wing thinks its perfectly fine for Bear Stearns to be "Welfare Queens" but not Sallie Mae or US Homeowners duped into mortgages the could not afford by predatory lenders more concerned with collecting fat juicy origination fees and bonus's than representing the interests of those they had a fiduciary duty ro represent and look out for.

  95. dolty spat,

    Anybody watch the dem debates the other night?

    I'm pleased that the wingtard media went out of their way to ask idiotic questions that tried extra-hard to make Obama look bad, since we all know that's the only way in hell my wingtard brother McCavein has a chance in hell of winning.

    We know, dolty, we know.

  96. Clif's right outside of Faux News ABC"s about as Reich Wing as they come...............I swore of suporting ABC in any way after the BS 9/11 piece of media sorcery they put out right before the 2006 elections to manipulate and influence the weak minded...........I will NEVER pay to see an ABC or Disney movie or buy a DVD that Disney puts out.

  97. Mike
    You probably know but I have been saying this for years. In fact I posted on that, this, and the fact that Ahmadinejad has said the same thing in the past and just reiterated. Everyone admits it but the chief lying slime!

  98. Clif
    To hell with Rummy's ex aide. The out come is not in doubt. Failure was guaranteed there, in the entire middle east, Afghanistan, and everywhere else the day the chief idiot ignored all advice to the contrary to attack Iraq to help Israel and go after Iran. The truth does not matter but it is finally coming out!

  99. Bust still has only one successful program.

    No Millionaire Left Behind

  100. LOL "BUST"..............was that a Freudian slip Tomcat or was that an allusion to the Depressions the Bush's policies are causing.........either way it was appropriate LOL!

  101. Patriot, I get what your saying about Amenajad and the Double standard the Reich Wing applies to their friends and foes............I'm no fan of Amenajad and he certainly is a crazy just like Netanyahoo and the Neo Cons............yet the Reich Wing Smear and fear crowd use a double standard and twist Amenajad's words an obsess over Rev Wrights soudbite yet give Netanyahoo a free pass.

  102. 4pm FLAGPIN PROTEST at the ABC Studios in Burbank....( more on this at watergate summer and also Crooks and Liars...)

    just thought West Coast- LA folks might want to know.....


  103. I'd tell the wingnuts to put this in their pipe and smoke it, but that would just make the problem worse;

    March the warmest on record over world land surfaces

    Planet Earth continues to run a fever. Last month was the warmest March on record over land surfaces of the world and the second warmest overall worldwide. For the United States, however, it was just an average March, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday.

    NOAA's National Climatic Data Center said high temperatures over much of Asia pulled the worldwide land temperature up to an average of 40.8 degrees Fahrenheit (4.9 degrees Celsius), 3.2 degrees (1.8 C) warmer than the average in the 20th century.

    One of these days the wingnuts just might just figger out the world's climate is more then their local weather .................

  104. One of these days the wingnuts just might just figger out the world's climate is more then their local weather

    Not a chance clif. The wingtards still havenb't figured out Abu Ghraib was about more than "a few bad apples."

  105. Abu Gahrab..( sorry about spelling)
    new book out about it" Standard Operating Procedure" shows that it was alot more than a "few bad apples"....
    things that are systemically wrong and ordered to young people....and no respect for laws or Rights...

    The Same Idiots that think Flag Pin Patriotism is sooooo Important...

    Lydia = thanks for highlighting the Debacle Debate- I am grateful to all in Blogatopia for standing up and saying WE Deserve Better...especially while we face such Massive Problems...

    ( 6-6 said " Did Ancient Rome have this problem......I know he was trying to be funny....but he has a point...I reassured him that the NON- Elite heaved Garbage at the Colluseum at such orating disasters...we threw flip flops at my little TV.....)

  106. Why do members of the MSM get special treatment when it comes to violations of the drug laws, like Rush Oxycodone Limbaugh and Richard Quest?

    CNN reporter faces drug charge after arrest in N.Y.

    Richard Quest reports on business and travel for the network.

    A CNN reporter was arrested Friday in Central Park with a small amount of methamphetamine in his pocket, but he avoided jail time by agreeing to undergo drug counseling and therapy.

    Richard Quest, 46, was arrested around 3:40 a.m. on a count of possession of a controlled substance -- a misdemeanor that usually refers to a personal use amount of a drug. He was also charged with loitering; the park officially closes at 1 a.m.

    When police saw and detained Quest, he told them, "I've got some meth in my pocket," according to the complaint filed in court. The complaint said he had a plastic sandwich bag containing methamphetamine in a jacket pocket.

    Quest, who is British, is a correspondent for CNN International and is known for his reports on business travel. He hosts "CNN Business Traveler" and "Quest."

    At his arraignment in Manhattan's Criminal Court, Judge Anthony Ferrara told Quest that if he attends the counseling and therapy designated by prosecutors for the next six months, his case will dismissed.

    The judge allowed Quest to leave court without posting bail. He warned that if Quest failed to comply with the counseling schedule, he could be back in court and on his way to jail.

    Quest's lawyer, Alan M. Abramson, said his client "did not realize the park had a curfew. He was returning to his hotel with friends."

    CNN had no immediate comment on Quest's arrest.

    When if your not rich or well connected you get JAIL time.

    BTW since quest is now KNOWN to use illegal drugs are the feds gonna deport him?

    Wanna bet NO?

    I find this very interesting;

    Quest, who is British, ...... The judge allowed Quest to leave court without posting bail.

    Now tell me that ain't special treatment.

    No bail for a foreigner on a meth charge;

    Wanna bet if he wasn't a special member of the press, he would have had to pay bail, and face jail?

    Wanna bet if he wasn't white, he'd faced very different circumstances right after the judge got done?

    Wanna bet if he didn't work at CNN or fox or ABC etc for that matter, he'd have either paid bail or gone to jail waiting for his trial and at that trial he'd a faced some jail time.

  107. By Steven Weber

    That Mainstream Media is one crafty critter, an exemplar of Darwinian perseverance. It's secured a place at the top of the food chain by seducing its rivals, secreting a soporific perfume to subdue its prey, sinking its fangs into the main artery of the body politic, draining said body of its will and soul and becoming king of the beasts.

    It's also an unrivaled crap trap as evidenced by talk show hosts-cum-journalists Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos asking stupefyingly dumbass questions of Barack and Hillary.

    But then it's so much easier to keep Hillary's wince-inducing attempts at folksiness and Barack's well intentioned statements that continue to rankle and confuse the Subtlety Impaired as banner headlines, retarding any progress their earlier debates may have made in the semi-consciousness of America.

    Why does idiotic minutiae that shouldn't take more than a moment to explain away continue to soak up every second of air time? Because "If it bleeds it leads" has utterly supplanted "All the news that's fit to print" and, as seems to be the ineluctable norm, profit trumps truth.

    Broadcast news landmarks, like the stolid but penetrating Watergate hearings and the jaw dropping hubris of the Iran-Contra hearings, were beamed on all major networks and took up most of the broadcast day, giving the viewing public a shot at parsing information without a chaperone. But the cheese-puffed spectacles which we are witness to today (i.e., roid-enraged major leaguers testifying in front of a gassy congressional panel) are mere proxies for the truthful relaying of current events and information (or "news"), something that the MSM has learned to avoid as it might potentially increase the brain power of its audience and subsequently decrease sales of its sponsers' wares. The MSM's hard-on for toxic froth all but renders thoughtful views about as profound as a cover story on that cultural touchstone Brittney Spears, the clumsily bedazzled Marilyn Monroe 2.0. (Marilyn, bless her peroxided soul, at least attended the Actor's Studio and married up. Brittney's incestuous ladle dips no deeper than the scum atop her mall-hick gene pool and pretty much leaves it at that.)

    Today's synthetic versions of yesterday's actualities are not so light and disposable as they make themselves out to be, proving instead to possess a staying power that clings to the psyche for a generation or more. They and their participants possess little or no depth or have only enough to get them bought and hastily digested by the public, who themselves seem to have a substantive information intolerance. And for whatever reason, society has lost its get up and go unless it's to the toilet or to the gas station. Incuriousness is encouraged and even forms a subliminal armature that drives the media. And in spite of history frantically waving its arms and yelling "Here! Look over here!" the majority of people still prefer to take the easy route to gathering information, never thinking beyond their own stomachs or their screens.

    In spite of perceived improvements in mass communication (the boon, for example, that was supposedly satellite television) it's all just a horizonless, polydimensional platform to launch an armada of commercials into all available psychological real estate. I myself confess to liking the relatively no-frill programming on the Discovery Channel ("How It's Made") or much of the schedule on that noblest and loneliest outpost in the galaxy C-SPAN, providing more data and less duh. I enjoy the power of knowing how aluminum foil is manufactured and I have captivated many with its tale (captivity being the key to the telling.).

    And children's programming is in many cases superior to even the old Bugs Bunny nitro-glycerin/snark-fests that constituted my own childhood neuronic nutrition. But for the most part, the Mainstream Media's bottling of the news and the harvesting of the droids that read it from life-sized GI Joe and Barbie and Skipper molds is just one more indication that America the Beautiful is now America the Bathetic.

    With our information gathering and distribution in such a sorry state, the resemblance to cultish films like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", "John Carpenter's They Live" and Mike Judge's virtually censored "Idiocracy" is inescapable: representations of reality feeding watered down data to the open, quivering mouths of the masses who accept the regurgitated spew without question. But at some point people either wise up and do battle or continue to live as they are, ensuring the country's evolution towards dystopic daymare, avoided by the rest of the world except when well-heeled Euro, Yuan and Riyal toting foreigners need a place to go to point at the sated specimens from behind protective glass.

  108. Citigroup axes 9,000 jobs and writes off $15.2bnTom Bawden in New York and agencies
    Citigroup, America's largest banking group, today admitted it will cut 9,000 jobs in addition to an already planned 4,200 cull as it posted its second consecutive loss of $5.1 billion (£2.5 billion) after writing off $15.1 billion in toxic assets.

    Citigroup's loss was worse than expected after analysts had expected the bank to post a loss of $4.75 billion for the first three months of the year. Citigroup's revenue plunged 48 per cent to $13.2 billion, compared with the average estimate of $11.1 billion from analysts. So far,Citigroup has taken a total $33 billion hit from the credit crunch.

    The planned job cuts, which now total 13,200, follow Merrill Lynch's announcement yesterday that it will reduce its workforce by 4,000. Citigroup currently employs 369,000 staff including 11,000 in Britain. A spokesman at Citigroup declined to comment on how may cuts would be implemented in the UK, stating there was no geographical break-out of where the reductions would occur.

    And the Bush economy keeps tumbling down.

  109. They did not Drink the Koolaid?

    "These records reveal a symbiotic relationship where the usual dividing lines between government and journalism have been obliterated.

    Internal Pentagon documents repeatedly refer to the military analysts as “message force multipliers” or “surrogates” who could be counted on to deliver administration “themes and messages” to millions of Americans “in the form of their own opinions.”

    Though many analysts are paid network consultants, making $500 to $1,000 per appearance, in Pentagon meetings they sometimes spoke as if they were operating behind enemy lines, interviews and transcripts show. Some offered the Pentagon tips on how to outmaneuver the networks, or as one analyst put it to Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, “the Chris Matthewses and the Wolf Blitzers of the world.” Some warned of planned stories or sent the Pentagon copies of their correspondence with network news executives. Many — although certainly not all — faithfully echoed talking points intended to counter critics.

    “Good work,” Thomas G. McInerney, a retired Air Force general, consultant and Fox News analyst, wrote to the Pentagon after receiving fresh talking points in late 2006. “We will use it.”" NY Times


    Yes, and those who did not "play ball" were systematically excluded from access by the Pentagon. The MSM picked up those cues (presumably transmitted by the Administration) and stopped talking to many of the best people.

    I was invited to one briefing at the Pentagon. At the meeting, many of those mentioned in this article were present. The purpose of the meeting was to give Rumsfeld the chance to explain the Abu Ghraib mess.

    I asked some awkward questions and was not invited again. pl (Col Pat Lang)

    Behind Military Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand

    Just a little more proof that the right wing corporate owned MSM is totally complianent to the right wing neo-con owned Bush administration.

    The corporate owned pushed the neo-con agenda because it was cheaper, easier and faster, which meant higher profits for lazy people, and the fact the truth itself got left behind wasn't interesting to the MSM. they COULD have asked other people like Larry Johnson, Pat Lang, Scott Ritter, David Hackworth (before he died), and they would have gotten a very different opinion of what was happening, BUT that wasn't what the powers that be in government or the owners of the right wing corporate owned MSM really wanted.

    They wanted to create their own reality so, 4139 soldiers have paid with their lives for that alternate version of reality which is spinning out of control, with no end in sight.

  110. A blunt former Fed chairman takes on Bernanke. Take heed of what he says

    A few days ago an unusual event took place: Paul Volcker, the mythical U.S. Federal Reserve Board chairman from the Reagan years, criticized the policy of the current Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, in a speech to the Economic Club of New York.

    Just so you grasp how extraordinary this was, you should first understand that normally a past Fed chairman scrupulously avoids saying anything at all about current Fed policy - for the simple reason that the current Fed chairman's words are one of his most important tools: They can sway markets.

    This ability does not fade entirely when a Fed chairman leaves.

    So when a past Fed chairman speaks, his words can clash with those of the present one and make that one's job difficult. Out of professional courtesy, past Fed chairmen therefore keep quiet; Mr. Volcker especially - the man who hiked interest rates to 20 per cent to kill inflation, at the cost of a deep recession. But last week Mr. Volcker spoke his mind bluntly. He said, in effect, that the current Fed is not doing its job.

    This would have been unusual enough. But Mr. Volcker went further. Not only is the Fed not doing its job, he said, but it is doing the wrong job: It is defending the economy and the market, instead of defending the dollar. And just to stick the knife in, Mr. Volcker added that this bad job now will make the real job - defending the greenback - much harder later. It'll cause even greater economic suffering.

    In plain words, Mr. Volcker implied that the current Fed is not only incompetent, but that its actions are dangerous.

    There is no record of Mr. Bernanke's reaction, nor that of anyone else inside the Fed. But there was plenty of buzz in the market because what Mr. Volcker said amounted to a rousing call to raise interest rates. Yes, raise rates, and do it now.

    Can you imagine what this would do to the market? I sure can, which brings me to the gap between physical economic reality as we witness it every day in our physical investigations, and the surreal market chatter we see and hear on TV. This gap has never been wider - but it will inevitably close as markets catch up to reality - as just forecast by former president Ronald Reagan's Fed chairman. Let me cite three items, then go back to Mr. Volcker.

    First, commercial real estate. You surely have read about the residential real estate problems - subprime loans syndicated and resold, causing the implosion of several U.S. financial institutions. The writeoffs and damage here total close to a trillion dollars, said the IMF recently. That's about one-seventh of the U.S. gross domestic product, or more than three years of growth.

    But what of commercial real estate? I heard recently from some savvy private real estate investors that although commercial real estate fell by 20 per cent, it should fall by a further 20 to 30 per cent before it provides a reasonable rate of return. So whatever economic damage was done to the economy by residential real estate speculation may eventually be equalled by commercial real estate. Say another 10th or seventh of GDP erased, or another two-three years of growth gone.

    Second, there's also the war in Iraq. Some U.S. economists recently estimated it has cost about two trillion dollars to date - another two-sevenths of U.S. GDP. That's five more years of GDP growth gone.

    And third, we haven't even begun to tally the private equity blowups that are surely coming.

    Taken all together, the economic damage spells a very bad and long recession. How to fix it? No problem, say the actions of Mr. Bernanke's Fed. Let's print the missing money - and it doesn't matter if it causes inflation and tanks the dollar. Because that's not our job.

    Up to now Mr. Volcker kept quiet, but no more. In his speech he just said, in effect, that the recession is not the Fed's problem. It's the government's. The Fed's job is to defend the currency and fight inflation - exactly the opposite of what this Fed is doing. The solution? Raise interest rates, Mr. Volcker practically said, no matter the consequences now, because if you don't, you'll have to raise them even more later, with even more awful consequences.

    Will rates indeed rise? I have no doubt they must. Not now, perhaps, but at the end of this year or the beginning of 2009, with a new president in the White House. The stock market, which usually looks six to nine months ahead, already understands this and may soon react. In fact, when Mr. Volcker's words sink in, the markets are likely to sink as this bear market rally ends.

    For surely you understand we are still in a bear market - and only in the beginning of it? Yes, we are experiencing a rally, and like most bear rallies, it is sharp and spiky. But when bear rallies end, they leave a lot of spiked bulls behind - and this rally should be no different. When it is over - in the next few weeks, methinks - the waterfall could continue, as the market begins to digest the inevitability of higher inflation and higher interest rates ahead.

    Against all protocol, Mr. Volcker just went out on a limb and warned you of this. I urge you to heed his words.

  111. Yep, the economy is tanking and its tanking fast.

    Last week I filled up and paid $3.399 a gallon. Today I filled up and paid $3.549 a gallon.

    A jump of .15 cents in a week. The clerk told me that there prices that they pay for gas rose three times in the week.

    I don't see it coming down anytime soon and only see it getting worse.

    Everything that is vital for the average citizen has increased over the past seven years while wages stayed stagnant.

    As much as I hate to say this I think we are now just another third world country were the people mean nothing to the government they live under.

    Though I would like to see a change in all our policies I still feel that we will be at war with Iran and\or under Martial Law with no elections come November.

    I have said that many times and I sincerely hope I'm wrong, however all the signs are there that this will in fact be the case.

    At that point we all become insurgents. We better be prepared to defend ourselves.

    God Bless.

    I am passing this on to you because it definitely works and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives. By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace. Dr Phil proclaimed, "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have
    never finished."

    So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream, a bottle of Kahlua, a package of Oreo's, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how good I feel right now.

  113. lydia you don't have to wonder about MSM. They are in Bush's pocket period what's new? Enigma live blogged this I think for a couple days in tyhe comments. Here is her last post with some good links.ABC should be embarrassed someone should be fired

  114. AP - I know, that comment on the MSM was for someone else's benefit. I was doing a show and I was concerned that the producers had no idea what we were talking about, so I was a little less radical so they might hear the message (about the media)

  115. MCH:omg....that was a now my son has been walking around all night in the his very best DrPhil Voice " where is that inner peace ???".....and we too have finished off the Brownies...some cold pizza...and some icecream.....and you know what we do feel MUCH better..MUCH...

    (Dear Lydia- I hope Patriot posting the link to my ABC Debate post did not cause any troubles....sorry....)

    Would it be too much too hope that ANY debate would answer OUR Questions ?? sigh....

    ( wouldn't it be great if the Bloggers could have a Debate ? .....I am dreaming....I know...too much chocolate...)

    Have a good night all...

  116. No Enigma - I'm glad AP posted your link and I can't wait to read your live blog.
    I am under a crunch this week and need to stay in lockdown writing.

    Hey - please read the breaking story about the Pentagon and how they colluded with news broadcasters to sell this illegal war. It's RIVETING and a MUST READ.

    See the blog page. Will this finally make it to the mianstream TV news broadcasts?

  117. Lydia:
    Oh please don't bother to even read the Liveblog- it is not worth the time- seriously- I did blog about how people should write to ABC about Journalistic Intergrity....there are two posts about the actual this point though we should never have to wait 52 minutes to hear a Substantive question....

    I did follow the Pentagon story all weekend....and also it is on fire all over the blogs- big and small...the sad part is that even CNN had some discussions on it ( Rick Sanchez last night)....and the commentators that were on said of course....

    I think many of us have thought /worried about this very issue for years- since 911....and definently after reporters had to have Pentagon training to go cover Iraq....Propaganda, peddled and coached and re-inforced....a Teflon Trojan Horse ( maybe even titanium) that can not be foiled...

    I hope and pray that most people are smarter...after so many lies for so many years ....Wisdom is something that is never acquired through Comfortable Times...and these have been Dark Times for many years....

    But thanks for Voicing More on it....we all should be outraged and speaking will be interesting to see if DC says anything today...

  118. Lydia and gang:
    I have new post up on Healthcare and the issues of it...and why it matters this election....
    ( War/economy/ healthcare suposedly are the top three issues this election cycle- and I won't argue on that...all true....and ironically all related...)

  119. If you didn't know it already, this should seal it,

    Republicans are bad for the economy, bad for job creation, and bad for just about everything except for enriching the rich and protecting people like David Vitter, Larry Craig, Mark Foley, and making sure Osama Bin Forgotten gets away.

    The Simple Arithmetic of Republican Failure

    Andrea Mitchell made a feeble attempt to cut through John McCain's doublespeak.

    MITCHELL: You know, you've added up and you talked about some $300 billion in savings -- pork barrel savings. Independent experts say that your tax cuts would cost at least $100 billion more than you say and that the savings would not materialize. You know, we've seen over decades...

    MCCAIN: I disagree with the experts. I disagree. I disagree. I disagree with the experts.

    MITCHELL: Well, let's say that there is a pork...

    MCCAIN: I have experts of my own. I have many experts of my own who say that this will stimulate the economy, will create jobs and increase revenues over time.
    And that's what we did in 1980 -- Ronald Reagan did when he came to office in 1981. We reduced taxes, we reduced regulation and we controlled spending.

    MITCHELL: But it did bust the deficit.

    MCCAIN: And a key part of this is controlling spending.

    MITCHELL: I mean, you are a deficit hawk.
    MSNBC Live, April 16, 2008

    John McCain is a "deficit hawk"? These days, that's about as accurate as saying Donald Trump is homeless. Let's cut through the nonsense and talk about real numbers.

    Numbers tell a story. Especially over time. They compel us to focus on results -- success and failure. Over the short term, maybe a few years, numbers can be manipulated or give false signals. But not over decades, and not over a generation. The numbers over the past 30 years are not refutable. When it comes to creating jobs and managing the nation's finances, Democratic presidents demonstrate success while Republican presidents show failure.

    Job Creation

    Jimmy Carter, 1977-1980: 10.5 million new jobs
    Bill Clinton, 1993-1996: 11.6 million new jobs
    Bill Clinton, 1997-2000: 12.4 million new jobs
    Total: 33.6 million jobs created over 12 years, or 2.8 million jobs per year

    Ronald Reagan 1981-1984: 5.2 million new jobs
    Ronald Reagan 1985-1988: 10.8 million new jobs
    George H.W. Bush 1989-1992: 2.6 million new jobs
    George W. Bush 2001-2004: 0.2 million fewer jobs
    George W. Bush 2005-2007: 5.5 million new jobs
    Total: 24 million jobs created over 19 years, or 1.3 million jobs per year

    Government Spending

    How much did the government spend for every dollar of revenue?

    Jimmy Carter, 1977-1980: $ 1.16
    Bill Clinton, 1993-1996: $1.25
    Bill Clinton, 1997-2000: $1.01
    Democratic Average: $1.16

    Ronald Reagan 1981-1984: $1.31
    Ronald Reagan 1985-1988: $1.38
    George H.W. Bush 1989-1992: $1.34
    George W. Bush 2001-2004: $1.27
    George W. Bush 2005-2007: $1.24
    Republican Average: $1.29

    The difference between $1.16 and $1.29 may not seem like a lot, but the impact on the national debt is huge, especially when you consider that $1.29 applies to 19 years, and the budgets under this president are so much larger.

    Increases in Government Debt

    Growth In Debt Held By the Public
    [$US trillions]
    Jimmy Carter, 1977-1980: 0.2
    Bill Clinton, 1993-1996: 0.7
    Bill Clinton, 1997-2000: -0.3
    Democratic Total: 0.6

    Ronald Reagan 1981-1984: 0.6
    Ronald Reagan 1985-1988: 0.7
    George H.W. Bush 1989-1992: 0.9
    George W. Bush 2001-2004: 0.9
    George W. Bush 2005-2007: 1.1
    Republican Total: 4.3

    The financial markets only pay attention to the amount of debt held by the public. This is the number that helps drive down the value of the dollar and makes bankers nervous about inflation down the road.

    Growth of Debt Held By "Government Accounts" [$US trillions]

    Jimmy Carter, 1977-1980: 0.00
    Bill Clinton, 1993-1996: 0.4
    Bill Clinton, 1997-2000: 0.8
    Democratic Total: 1.3

    Ronald Reagan 1981-1984: 0.1
    Ronald Reagan 1985-1988: 0.3
    George H.W. Bush 1989-1992: 0.5
    George W. Bush 2001-2004: 0.8
    George W. Bush 2005-2007: 1.4
    Republican Total: 3.0

    Debt held in government accounts is very much a misnomer. Debt, in the real world, is a fixed obligation to make a payment on a specific date. Not so for debt held in government accounts, according to this White House.

    The Bush administration opposes including Social Security and Medicare in the audited deficit. Its reason: Congress can cancel or cut the retirement programs at any time, so they should not be considered a government liability for accounting purposes." USA Today, August 3, 2006

    This subject warrants a separate article, but, there, in a nutshell, is the basis for the Republicans' "Social Security Reform."

    In very simple terms, what happens is that the money contributed by everyone into Social Security, intended to build up a surplus to fund the baby boomers' nest egg for their retirement years, is actually used to reduce the government's reported deficit. Is it a huge scam? You bet. President Clinton, anticipating the problem, proposed some kind of undefined "lockbox" to prevent the pillaging of the Social Security surplus that's taken place under the current White House. Of course, the Republicans shot that down.

    Anyone who speaks of a crisis in Social Security is really talking about a problem that can be laid at the Republicans' doorstep. It's not class warfare, just simple arithmetic.


    Job Creation: Bureau of Labor Statistics Seasonally adjusted nonfarm payrolls, calculated on calendar years

    Government Spending: OMB,
    On-Budget Outlays divided by On-Budget Revenues

    Increases in Government Debt: OMB

    Seems the reichwing ain't any better at "economic ideas" then they are figgering out how to get out of the complete fiasco they created in Iraq.

    They strut and squawk a hell of a lot, but FAIL miserably when it cones time to dealing with reality.

    Oh right they don't do "reality" they drink the kool-aid and try to invent an alternate version to REALITY.

    Of course starting fiascoes which they expect somebody else or their children to fight is just part of their make-up.

    After the Dulles brothers and Nixon get the Vietnam Fiasco started in the 1950, by refusing to allow the Vietnamese people decide their own future, gutless chicken hawks like Dick Cheney went and got 5 deferments, Newt, Hannity, Rush Bill O, and a whole host of congressional repubie chicken hawks "cut and ran" like hell from serving in Vietnam; while the richer gutless chicken hawks got plum NON-DEPLOYABLE assignments in the National guard, people like Georgie Bush and Danny Quayle.

    BTW both John Kerry and Al Gore for some reason found their way to Vietnam even though they could have gone the reichwing repubie chicken hawk route.

    I guess PAYING for what you want isn't a republican virtue.

  120. Mike said LOL "BUST"..............was that a Freudian slip Tomcat or was that an allusion to the Depressions the Bush's policies are causing.........either way it was appropriate LOL!

    Mike as much as I would love to claim credit for that marvelous witticism, I have to confess that it was purely accidental. Another of my infamous typos.

  121. Total: 24 million jobs created over 19 years, or 1.3 million jobs per year

    It mist be added the the qualification for 90% of those jobs is the ability to say, "Do you want fries with that?" ;-)

  122. I have a feeling we've seen Rusty before. This is a wingtard carcass from bannings past, come back to miserable life.

  123. Jolly Roger said...
    I have a feeling we've seen Rusty before. This is a wingtard carcass from bannings past, come back to miserable life."

    Great minds aye JR :D

  124. Rustyridesagain said...

    Oh my god,run Henny Penny,run Henny Penny the sky is falling,the sky is falling.

    What's the matta crusty?

    Army recruiter showed up again?

    Or did ya finally figger out how much real value you have lost the last seven years in the stock market?

    ...... and mommy won't let ya live in the basement again.


    To One and ALL HERE- ALL OF US THAT are friends with ANONP..he is facing a Crisis with his lovely cat Ginger...his companion....who he almost lost a year ago due to Poisoned Cat food...she is his Everything...and on my Health Post he just left a stricken hearbreaking messege...

    I am asking that you come to my site and leave a messege or go to his or the other I am very very worried about him..he has had too much loss this year...I worry that we can no let him go through this alone...we must support, comfort and help and be there for him...please please read what he wrote.....

    Please pray and help as you can....


  126. Thats terrible News Enigma..........I am glad it wasnt what it siunded like though........I hope everything works out ok for them!

  127. Please leave comments on the new blog post. It is about the economy and is a revamp of a blog I wrote earlier about "economic stability" being better than economic growth.

    It is also about the spiritual law of surrender: stop worrying, stop stressing, give more than you receive and watch magic happen in your life.

    Thank you all for all your good words and good deeds. We really can change the world and we're doing it!

  128. Hillary's just a criminal in waiting.

    she's worse than bush.

    If she even comes close to winning, i will rally for McCain!

  129. Message Machine: Gitmo- The Pentagon’s Hidden Hand
    These are the criers, the aged and brassy men of warring
    That congregate in Cuba, charting the king’s defense.
    They only know the one breed of war.